Why Migrate from KVM to Xenserver?

There are many reasons customers choose to migrate to different hypervisors.  Some do so because they have a bias for one over another.  Others do so because their applications take advantage of subtle differences that exist between platforms.  At Datapipe, the primary reason is:

KVM has many limitations that impede progress.  We need to replace it with a more capable hypervisor.

What are some of KVM's limitations?  

Datapipe desires to move its cloud's backend storage to newer, faster and more reliable technology. The storage technology of choice is built upon super-fast, highly redundant SSD (solid-state drives). Of the current hypervisor platforms that Stratosphere employs in its public cloud--Citrix's Xenserver and Red Hat's KVM, only Xenserver natively supports this technology.  Because of that (and other considerations), Datapipe has chosen to move forward with Xenserver, migrating all current virtual machines running on KVM onto these SSD-backed hypervisors.   

Stratsosphere EPN (Elastic Private Network) is built on top of VMware's ESX hypervisor.  Like Xenserver, ESX natively supports SSD technology. Datapipe has already implemented this capability into our EPN environment.

Our chosen SSD solution is preferred for the following reasons:

  • It was designed specifically for multi-tenant cloud deployments
  • It is far more reliable than traditional "spin" technology
  • It provides greatly improved read/write performance
  • It allows guaranteed provisioned IOPs
  • It enables non-disruptive expansion and scalability

This SSD solution exists today in Stratosphere EPN.  When you create volumes for your instances in a zone that has it, you are given the option of selecting High Performance Storage volumes.  Eventually, every instance created in Stratosphere and Stratosphere EPN will live on SSD storage. 

In addition to the improved storage experience, Xenserver also provides other compelling advantages over KVM:

  • Xen has been available longer than KVM and is a more mature platform
  • Xen is the hypervisor of choice for cloud industry leaders such as Amazon Web Services
  • Xen is natively supported by Stratosphere's underlying cloud orchestration software vendor
  • Xen supports PV (paravirtualization) as well as HVM (hardware-assisted virtualization)
  • Xen allows simultaneous snapshots of multiple volumes

Eventually, all instances living on KVM will be required to be migrated to Xenserver.  This will be happening in the very near future.

Customers do not have to wait for that day to arrive.  Instead, with our assistance if required, customers can begin to enjoy the advantages this migration offers today:

  • Fast and reliable storage solutions
  • Next generation compute hardware
  • Fully supported hypervisor technology