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KVM — an open virtualization alternative, a smarter choice


Open Virtualization with Open Clouds

Virtualization is also the first step in the evolution to the Cloud, and open virtualization is a first step towards the open cloud. Cloud computing of course is all about offering a new delivery and consumption model for IT resources, in order to deliver both business and IT benefits.

Clouds come in a variety of flavors, from private to public to hybrid, but all of these have three key characteristics – virtualization, standardization, and automation. KVM and its ecosystem support all of these characteristics. Examples include:

IBM SmartCloud Enterprise

One such Cloud provider is IBM with our IBM SmartCloud Enterprise. We use KVM to provide the underlying hypervisor for this IBM public cloud, supporting both Linux and Windows virtual machines, and with a variety of dynamic workloads. IBM selected KVM for its public cloud because of the lower costs, enhanced scalablity, and leadership performance, and we are passing those benefits onto our Cloud clients.

This Cloud spans 8 datacenters and is composed of about 150 KVM nodes, which breaks down into approximately 1,000 KVM hosts and 6,000 VMs. The cloud is managed with IBM’s Tivoli management software, which supports KVM as a first class hypervisor.


“KVM provides effective price points, enhanced scalability, and performance capabilities that are well suited to IBM enterprise needs.”

- Jan Jackman, VP Cloud Services, IBM Global Technology Services

IBM SmartCloud Provisioning

IBM SmartCloud Provisioning, a true IaaS solution, reduces costs and offers near-zero downtime and automated recovery.


“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

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