14 Jan


You’ve probably seen that VPS hosting has become a sought after choice among many website owners these days. If you too are looking to get VPS hosting and doing your research, you must have noticed that two types of VPS hosting are available in the market – KVM VPS and OpenVZ VPS. Though both are popular virtualization techniques, they come with a number of differences that may become decisive in picking any particular one. In this post, we’re going to explore five major differences between them to understand their actual implications.

  • The biggest difference between KVM and OpenVZ is that KVM offers a lot more flexibility in terms of running different operating systems. This hardware virtualization technology lets you run other operating systems such as BSD and Windows apart from Linux. On the other hand, with OpenVZ, which is an OS-level virtualization technology, you can only run Linux.
  • Another major difference lies in the resource allocation by these two techniques. As a KVM user, you’ll be able to allocate values to resources, which means applications will only be able to utilize the resources they need. In short, KVM lets the users have an isolated environment together with their own kernel. On the contrary, OpenVZ lets you share the resources. Here, the kernel is shared among a number of VPS. In short, with OpenVZ, one VPS can use or borrow resources of another VPS that are not being used. This efficient use of resources leads to considerable CPU and memory savings.
  • Overselling has become a common practice among web hosting providers. Here, providers commit server resources to certain users considering that each of them won’t be using up all the resources at a time. Overselling is particularly true for OpenVZ packages, where you may end up on a system keeping too many containers. Because of this, OpenVZ solutions tend to be cheaper than KVM ones. However, it’s possible to oversell KVM also but that remains highly isolated.
  • In the hosting landscape, resource distribution is directly associated with performance output. We’ve already mentioned that KVM provides guaranteed resources. It means, if you’ve got a resource-intensive business such as game servers or run applications that need a dedicated server, KVM would be your best option. On the contrary, if you are looking for cost-effectiveness and scalability, you should go with OpenVZ.
  • Another key difference between KVM and OpenVZ is that KVM needs complex networking skills to operate and this is only available on some specific processors. Additionally, as a full virtualization technique, it may slightly affect the performance. On the contrary, OpenVZ comes with simpler setup and maintenance, which should be ideal for businesses running small applications.

Finally, choosing between KVM and OpenVZ ultimately comes down to the specific requirements of your business. In simple words, if you belong to the league of game server operators, resellers, or resource-heavy businesses that require dedicated resources together with customizability and reliability, go for KVM. And if your priorities include speed, scalability, and affordability, OpenVZ is what you should consider.