What are the strengths and weaknesses of paravirtualization compared to other virtualization?
Paravirtualization is very lightweight in comparison to the nearest competitor VMware ESX server, so its performance can be very good. In addition, it imposes its changes in a very few aspects of the kernel and allows many other aspects to continue working unmodified. In particular, it uses the native device drivers of its "host" OS (operating system), thereby offering more flexibility in terms of hardware support.
The most obvious drawback is that it requires a specialized kernel for guest OSes, if run on a non-virtualization-capable hardware platform. Getting that specialized kernel set up and configured properly can be a challenge, particularly for non-expert sysadmins.
Dig Deeper on Citrix XenServer
Related Q&A from Joseph Foran
Site expert Bernard Golden answers a user question about working with Xen in Slackware 12. Continue Reading
Virtualization is having a positive impact on Windows based applications, but will it leave Linux behind? Bernard Golden weighs in with his thoughts ... Continue Reading
The XenServer family of products has hit the market and Bernard Golden tells us whether or not it will make an impact in this expert response. Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.