[Beowulf] Docker vs KVM paper by IBM

Andrew Holway andrew.holway at gmail.com
Wed Jan 21 13:26:25 PST 2015


On 19 August 2014 at 18:16, Kilian Cavalotti
<kilian.cavalotti.work at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 7:10 AM, Douglas Eadline <deadline at eadline.org> wrote:
>> I ran across this interesting paper by IBM:
>>   An Updated Performance Comparison of Virtual Machines and Linux Containers
> It's an interesting paper, but I kind of feel it's comparing apple to
> oranges. They're both round and tasty, but it's not really the same
> thing.
> There's probably no need to detail this, but KVM is a virtualization
> infrastructure that run full stack OSes (using their own kernels) on
> top of a Linux kernel turned into an hypervisor. So yes, it carries
> the overhead of running a kernel over a kernel, but also the
> flexibility of doing so (ie. you can run different kernel/OS versions
> on top of each other, use virtual devices and so on).
> Docker, on the other hand, is a containerization infrastructure that
> run processes on top of an existing, regular kernel. Not to diminish
> its merits, which are great in many areas, but it's closer to a kind
> of glorified chroot.
> So, it's no surprise that Docker performance would be the same as the
> underlying OS's, while KVM overhead is much more important. There's a
> full layer of virtualization difference between the two.
> And they also a ran single VM or container per host. It would probably
> also be interesting to see what happens when your run multiple VMs or
> multiple containers on the same host.
> I guess it's nice somebody took the time to do the test, to ensure
> that Docker management or the LXC infrastructure was not impacting the
> containers performance too much, but I'm not sure I really understand
> the goal of the paper. Worst case, it will probably be misleading for
> people who will end up comparing two different tools with very
> different purposes and use cases. "What do you mean I can not upgrade
> the kernel in my container?"
> Cheers,
> --
> Kilian
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