SUSE Linux Enterprise is an enterprise-class Linux server operating system that offers two types of hypervisors: Xen and KVM
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server includes the latest open source virtualization technologies, Xen and KVM. With these hypervisors, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server can be used to provision, de-provision, install, monitor and manage multiple virtual machines (VM Guests) on a single physical system.
Both Xen and KVM support full virtualization mode. For the POWER architecture, KVM is supported. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with Xen or KVM acts as a virtualization host server (VHS) that supports VM Guests with its own guest operating systems. In KVM, where the Linux kernel acts as the hypervisor, the management components run directly on the VHS.
- Less hardware: You can run several operating systems on one host, so all hardware maintenance will be reduced.
- Less power/cooling: Less hardware means you do not need to invest more in electric power, backup power, and cooling if you need more service.
- Save space: Your data center space will be saved because you do not need more hardware servers (less servers than service running).
- Less management: Using a VM Guest simplifies the administration of your infrastructure.
- Agility and productivity: Virtualization provides migration capabilities, live migration and snapshots. These features reduce downtime, and bring an easy way to move your service from one place to another without any service interruption.
Components of a KVM virtualization environment
KVM is a full virtualization solution for the AMD64/Intel 64 and the z Systems architectures supporting hardware virtualization.
VM Guests (virtual machines), virtual storage, and virtual networks can be managed with QEMU tools directly, or with the libvirt-based stack. The QEMU tools include qemu-system-ARCH, the QEMU monitor, qemu-img, and qemu-ndb. A libvirt-based stack includes libvirt itself, along with libvirt-based applications such as virsh, virt-manager, virt-install, and virt-viewer.
KVM Virtualization Architecture
KVM virtualization solution consists of two main components:
- A set of kernel modules (kvm.ko, kvm-intel.ko, and kvm-amd.ko) that provides the core virtualization infrastructure and processor-specific drivers.
- A user space program (qemu-system-ARCH) that provides emulation for virtual devices and control mechanisms to manage VM Guests (virtual machines).