Open. Cost effective.
Ready for business.

KVM — an open virtualization alternative, a smarter choice

Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is an open source hypervisor that provides enterprise-class performance, scalability and security to run Windows and Linux workloads. KVM provides organizations a cost-effective alternative to other x86 hypervisors, and enables a lower-cost, more scalable, and open Cloud. KVM is ready for business: because it's open it is cost-effective, because IBM stands behind it it's a smart choice.

IBM investment in KVM

IBM brings its expertise and longstanding commitment to open source and virtualization to KVM, contributing key performance, reliability and security features, and offering extensive virtualization management and Cloud capabilities.

IBM KVM Center Of Excellence

IBM opens the first-ever KVM Center of Excellence in Beijing. Learn more here.

Virtualization management tools for KVM

Why KVM?

KVM has rapidly gained acceptance in the marketplace as an enterprise-class, open alternative. Today an extensive ecosystem exists through the Open Virtualization Alliance, oVirt, ISVs and the Linux Distributions.

KVM & cloud

KVM and it’s ecosystem supports the key characteristics of clouds: virtualization, standardization, automation and security.

IBM clients using KVM


“KVM also saves us a lot of money, because of its lower licensing costs. We are using both KVM and VMware, so IBM SmartCloud Provisioning enables us to bring in customer environments on VMware and reduce costs by moving them to KVM. We’ve also found KVM much easier to install and manage." 

Martijn van Zoeren, CEO
Dutch Cloud BV

Casio Computers

“With Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization on IBM hardware, we have been able to reduce costs significantly while also speeding up procurement, which has helped the company successfully handle business management challenges”

– Atsushi Yazawa, Deputy Senior General Manager, Production & Purchasing Division at Casio

China Merchants Bank New York

“With the IBM System x and KVM solution, we can quickly create a virtual machine for users, which requires less administration and saves a lot of time.

– Long Ren, Assistant Vice President, Information Technology, China Merchants Bank New York branch 


“KVM is close to both the kernel and the hardware so we can optimize performance and work with cutting-edge hardware. Open standards are also very important to us, so being able to support both KVM and VMware hypervisors with IBM SmartCloud Provisioning software enables us to offer choice to our customers.”

– Martijn Van Zoeren, CEO of Dutch Cloud BV


“At EDELAP, we have seen how KVM has evolved over time. Our decision to use KVM was definitely a smart choice. It has allowed us to build a resilient infrastructure that is more efficient and cost effective to manage than the alternatives we considered.”

– Gonzalo D'Alessandro, Head of Technology & Communications, EDELAP S.A.


“KVM is a very strong hypervisor that gained reputation for Linux Desktop virtualization. It is less known that KVM performance in virtualizing Windows desktops is also outstanding. Besides KVM works with SPICE and allows for several options for the VM management software.”

– Michel Kisfaludi, CEO, eyeOS


“By using IBM Systems Director and SUSE Linux with KVM on IBM BladeCenter and System x, we’re able to offer hosted cloud services to our customers that provide a high level of security in a multi-tenant environment. KVM has also enabled us to realize significant cost savings, lowering software-licensing costs 70 percent below competitive virtualization software.”

– Patrick Fitzgerald, Managing Director, i-Layer Ltd

Novi urbanisticki zavod Republike Srpske (The New Institute for Urban Planning of the Republic of Srpska)

“RHEV with KVM is key to the new system’s flexibility and performance. Chosen for its benchmark performance, high availability, live migration capabilities, ease of management and affordability, it is the only virtualization platform used agency-wide.”

– Nenad Lakic, head of IT, Novi urbanisticki zavod Republike Srpske


“Because of the decreased TCO from KVM based solutions, KVM has made it possible for me to maintain a virtualization environment comparable to any competitor, but at half the price.”

– Aron Lander, System Administrator/Operations Engineer at op5


“Mission-critical applications and services running in RHEV environments must be highly available and deliver excellent performance. With Radware becoming an ISV for IBM PureSystems, customers can not only address these challenges, but also deploy and manage their mission-critical applications together with an advanced ADC service on one consistent virtualization environment.”

– Gilad Zlotkin - Vice President, Virtualization and Management Products – Radware

Rural Credit Banks Funds Clearing Center

"By applying IBM virtualization solutions, KVM included, we managed to solve the internal interference problem caused by running different development and tests on one system. As a result, we seeded project development, improved quality, decreased management complexity, improved resource allocation and flexibility.”

– Yao Chun Yang, Executive Assistant of Operation Support Department, Rural Credit Banks Funds Clearing Center 

Scale Computing

“We’re very excited to be an active participant in the Open Virtualization Alliance. Industry-wide commitment to solving the challenges IT administrators face, with technologies such as KVM, will hasten the development of solutions and technology price reductions.”

- Patrick Conte, GM and EVP of Worldwide Field Operations for Scale Computing


“Using IBM SmartCloud Provisioning to manage KVM and other hypervisors on IBM System x, we’ve been able to show our customers that they can easily add capacity without having to make a large up-front investment. We believe there’s a great future for KVM, especially for customers who are looking to reduce their software licensing costs”

– Peter van den Muijsenberg, Operations Manager, SLTN


“By using VidyoRouter Virtual Edition with IBM PureFlex and KVM, enterprises can reduce their cost of deploying and scaling video conferencing deployments while increasing the agility with which they can adapt their communications infrastructure to their changing needs.”

- Ashish Gupta, CMO and SVP Corporate Development, Vidyo, Inc


“Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and device mobilization has fuelled the need for organizations to rethink how to deliver corporate information to their workforce. Using virtualization with KVM on IBM System x Servers and Storwize V7000, Vissensa is able to provision mobile corporate applications to a world of varied devices, delivering a “single pane of glass” to the corporate workforce and ensure their connection to common desktop service and corporate applications is maintained.”

– Steve Groom, CEO Vissensa Ltd.


“In the Supply Chain SaaS business, high reliability and low costs are essential to our customers. By using open virtualization with KVM on IBM System x Blade Servers, we've been able to accelerate our software testing and quality assurance, as well as host our production back-office applications.

– Mauricio Longo, IT Infrastructure Manager, Webb