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Kernel Based Virtual Machine

Kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) is a framework for virtualization created for Linux operating system and designed to also run on the previously designed Linux and hardware specific modules for Intel and AMD like kvm-intelvt and KVM-amdvt. It is an open source software solution formed on the x86 hardware and is compatible with all the operating systems including Windows, Solaris, BSDs, ReactOS, AROS and Linux. KVM is designed to speed up an organization’s higher performance with its strong flexible and scalable features. Kernel-based virtual machines are developed by Red Hat Corporation. The major distributors of KVM are Ubuntu, SuSE, and Red Hat. 

KVM offers similar functionalities that others like VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V or Citrix Xen server but comes at far lower costs. Being open source, it does not carry any license fees and the organizations get all the technical and financial benefits of the open multi-vendor environment. KVM performs far more efficiently compared to VMware and Hyper-V. The performance is evaluated on the concept of the higher the performance will enable more workloads to be run on the virtualized environment. KVM is built on top of Linux and it has enabled KVM to use the advanced security features of Security Enhanced Linux(SELinux). It has allowed KVM to offer Mandatory Access Control security among the virtual machines. Because of its advanced security features, KVM and Red Hat Linux 5 have been awarded the Common Criteria Certificate a few years’ backs. KVM being part of the Linux kernel offers high quality of service (QoS) to virtual machines in terms of CPU, network, memory etc. KVM because of its low costs and ease of use is being widely adopted by public cloud providers.

BMC Software, HP, IBM, Eucalyptus systems, SuSE and Intel have formed OVA (Open Virtualization Alliance) for Kernel-based Virtual machine.

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