KVM vs OpenVZ (Which Virtualization Is Right for You?)

In the world of server virtualization, choosing the right technology is crucial. Two popular virtualization technologies are KVM and OpenVZ. In this article, we will delve into what each technology offers and compare their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

KVM vs OpenVZ

What Is KVM?

Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is a virtualization technology. It turns Linux into a hypervisor. KVM allows multiple operating systems to share a single hardware host. Each VM is a full-fledged virtualization. It has its own kernel.

Pros of KVM

  • Full Virtualization: KVM provides full virtualization, allowing for better isolation and security.
  • Custom Kernel: Users can run their own kernel.
  • Wide OS Support: Supports a wide range of operating systems.
  • Strong Performance: Known for high performance, especially in I/O operations.
  • Supports Over-committing: KVM allows over-committing of resources.

Cons of KVM

  • Resource Usage: Typically requires more resources than container-based solutions like OpenVZ.
  • Complex Setup: Configuration can be complex for new users.

What Is OpenVZ?

OpenVZ is a container-based virtualization technology. It uses a single Linux kernel. All containers share the host’s kernel. It’s more lightweight than KVM.

Pros of OpenVZ

  • Resource Efficiency: Requires fewer resources, enabling higher density.
  • Easy Setup: Simple to configure and manage.
  • High Performance: Offers high performance, especially with CPU and memory.
  • Live Migration: Supports live migration of containers.

Cons of OpenVZ

  • Kernel Sharing: All containers share the same kernel, which can be a limitation.
  • Limited OS Support: Supports fewer operating systems compared to KVM.
  • No Full Virtualization: Lacks the full virtualization features of KVM.

Is OpenVZ Better Than KVM?

The choice between OpenVZ and KVM depends on your needs. OpenVZ is better for high-density, low-resource environments. KVM is suited for full virtualization. It’s better for diverse operating systems and custom kernels.


Both KVM and OpenVZ have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. If resource efficiency and ease of setup are your priority, OpenVZ might be the better choice. On the other hand, if you require full virtualization, custom kernel, and a wide range of OS support, KVM could be the more suitable option for your virtualization needs. Each technology serves different purposes, and the right choice largely depends on your specific use case and preferences.

Researched and created by:
Krum Popov
Passionate web entrepreneur, has been crafting web projects since 2007. In 2020, he founded HTH.Guide — a visionary platform dedicated to streamlining the search for the perfect web hosting solution. Read more...
Technically reviewed by:
Metodi Ivanov
Seasoned web development expert with 8+ years of experience, including specialized knowledge in hosting environments. His expertise guarantees that the content meets the highest standards in accuracy and aligns seamlessly with hosting technologies. Read more...

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