KVM Hypervisor on Datto SIRIS

KVM Hypervisor on Datto SIRIS

By Andrew Burton

As you may have heard, we replaced the hypervisor that enables virtualization on SIRIS devices. With SIRIS, we’ve swapped out VirtualBox for the Linux-based KVM hypervisor. This was a huge project and we are confident it will greatly benefit our partners. It puts the same hypervisor technology used by ultrascale cloud providers in SIRIS devices. With KVM, Instant Virtualization will be faster, more reliable, and more secure.

To understand why, let’s look at how KVM and VirtualBox differ. There are two types of hypervisors: Type 1 and Type 2. KVM is a Type 1 hypervisor and VirtualBox is, you guessed it, Type 2. Some examples of Type 1 hypervisors include VMware ESX/ESXi, Citrix Xen, and Microsoft Hyper-V. Type 2 hypervisors include VMware Fusion, Solaris Zones, Parallels and VMware Workstation.

Type 1 hypervisors run directly on the system hardware, which is why they are sometimes referred to as “bare-metal hypervisors.” Type 2 hypervisors, on the other hand, run as an application on a host operating system. As such, Type 1 hypervisors provide higher performance because they have direct access to the hardware. Performance is lower with Type 2 hypervisors because you have an additional layer of software—the OS—between the hypervisor and the physical hardware.

Because of their efficiency, Type 1 hypervisors are used for desktop and server virtualization as well as for cloud environments. Type 2 hypervisors are generally used on desktops or laptops where performance is not as critical.

A report published by SNIA Europe on KVM and security, says the hypervisor also offers security benefits over other hypervisors available today—whether Type 1 or 2. According to the report, this is because KVM inherits the underlying security capabilities of Linux, such as hardware-based isolation, discretionary access control, and mandatory access control.

Finally, KVM, like VirtualBox, is an open-source hypervisor. So, our partners still get the interoperability of open-source, along with increased performance and security.

KVM vs VMware - What's the Difference?

KVM and VMware are two different virtualization systems that exist to make a lot of servers look like they are all one server.

KVM is a Linux-based virtualization system. KVM stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machine, which means it's built on the kernel of Linux. It can be run on some types of hardware, but it does not support as many operating systems as VMware does.

VMware is a company that produces software that allows users to create virtual machines. The company's software has been around since 1998, but it really took off with the release of VMware Workstation in 2001. 


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