Talk Nerdy To Me: KVM

Nov 08, 2016

Talk Nerdy To Me: KVM

BY Kevin Williams

Datto Products

Kevin and Henry discuss Kernel-based Virutal Machine (KVM) and some of the reasons behind Datto’s recent switch from VirtualBox to KVM. 

Transcript

Kevin Williams:
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Datto Partner Technical Podcast. I'm Kevin Williams, Partner Media Manager here at Datto. Today I'm actually joined by our training team lead, Henry Washburn. Henry's worked for Datto for over six years. He's been with us from the early basement days all the way to the industry leader that we've become today. Henry thank you very much for joining us today.

Henry Washburn:
Thanks for having me Kevin.

Kevin Williams:
We wanted to focus on KVM. I know we made that switch from VirtualBox to KVM. That was pretty huge. In the video we elaborated on some of the points on some of the benefits of KVM but if you wouldn't mind, what would you say, Henry, is the main reason we ended up switching from VirtualBox to KVM?

Henry Washburn:
I think moving from a Type 2 to a Type 1 hypervisor actually was one of the main reasons just for the simple fact it allows for better functionality.

Kevin Williams:
Okay. Let's go into more detail on that. Can you break down the difference between the Type 1 and the Type 2 hypervisor?

Henry Washburn:
Sure. Let's start with the Type 2 which is what we were using with VirtualBox. VirtualBox like any Type 2 is a software that interacts with the operating system user space and so what happens there is that VirtualBox interacts with the operating system, the operating system then interacts with the kernel. Some other examples of a Type 2 hypervisor other than VirtualBox is Parallels or VMware Fusion.

Type 1 is actually a type of hypervisor that software actually interacts directly with the hardware kernel that exists on that computer. For example, just like KVM that is a Type 1 hypervisor, we have VMware ESX, Microsoft HyperV and Citrix Xen. Actually I really enjoyed the move from VirtualBox to KVM for the simple fact that it's kind of cool and neat to use. We actually implemented in our Datto Web UI the ability to connect directly into the virtualization that gets started when you do a local disaster via VNC. Previously we had done it through Remote Desktop and actually because we recognized that there were a lot of partners who used Remote Desktop we actually had to update KVM's ... We actually edited KVM in order to actually assist with creating RDP links. For the average user ... I'm a MAC fan boy, I really don't like to use a lot of Microsoft things.

Kevin Williams:
Fair enough.

Henry Washburn:
For personal reasons but what's really nice about the VMC capability is that it doesn't matter the operating system. It opens up in a browser, it runs in MAC, Linux and Windows, without having to try to do that connection through Remote Desktop. Our Linux users, especially internally, we have a lot of Linux users internally in development, that sort of thing. They really had a hard time using the Remote Desktop aspect of our previous usage with VirtualBox.

Kevin Williams:
I know, I'm coming from the support perspective. I can definitely tell you that working with different partners and seeing sometimes that this functionality, having just that VNC session right there like you just click a button and boom, now you're connected to your VM. It takes that third element out of it completely. Needing to RDP in general just disappears. I think that it's just makes it all that much of a smoother process, especially when you are in DR scenario, you've got your client, partners got their client, they are freaking out like, "Oh my gosh, where is my server?" Now you're able to ... It's almost like you're able to showcase a DR in a certain aspect.

Henry Washburn:
Like there was a warm and fuzzy feeling almost, during the worst thing that can possibly happen.

Kevin Williams:
It's going to be all right, to that extant but ... Henry thank you. Thank you for kind of bringing us up to speed on that. We really do appreciate you being here today.

Henry Washburn:
My pleasure.

Kevin Williams:
Guys tune in next time for more technical tips and tricks.

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