How’s KVM going?
KVM became the default hypervisor for new Linode customers six months ago, and it’s been going great. Since KVM’s introduction last summer, customers have created over 500,000 KVM Linodes with over 3 million launches. It’s been very stable, it’s been very fast. Our service has improved reliability and uptime because it’s running a simpler stack. Overall the transition to KVM has been a huge success.
Since the launch, we also introduced Glish, the graphical console that allows you to view and interact with your virtual machine’s graphical output. This allows you to run a self-contained graphical environment within your virtual machine. Or, using the full-virtualization capabilities of KVM Linodes, to run alternative operating systems like Plan 9 or even Windows.
To give you an idea of our KVM fleet size: just about 50% of all Linodes are now running on KVM, with many of them being pre-existing Xen Linodes that migrated to KVM.
How do I upgrade a Linode from Xen to KVM?
On a Xen Linode’s dashboard, you will see an “Upgrade to KVM” link on the right sidebar. It’s a one-click migration to upgrade your Linode to KVM from there. Essentially, our KVM upgrade means you get a much faster Linode just by clicking a button.
Please note: Our Tokyo facility is currently sold out and does not offer an upgrade to KVM. We are looking into adding more capacity in Tokyo and will notify those customers once upgrades become available.
KVM will be the only option for new Linodes, starting May 1, 2016
If you are an older customer, new Linodes you create may still be getting placed onto a Xen hypervisor. You can change this default on your Account Settings page in the Linode Manager. However, coming May 1, 2016, the only option will be KVM. In other words, starting on May 1, it will not be possible to create a Xen-based Linode.
What will be the fate of existing Xen Linodes?
Existing Xen-based Linodes will be fine. However, in the near future we will begin to consolidate Xen Linodes onto fewer physical servers, which will mean scheduled migrations with periods of downtime. Don’t worry – if you will be affected, we’ll provide plenty of advance notice when those migrations are planned.