Volume 15, Number 2

Performance Evaluation of the KVM Hypervisor Running on ARM-Based Single-Board Computers


Eric Gamess, Mausam Parajuli, and Syed Shah, Jacksonville State University, USA


Single-Board Computers (SBCs) were initially targeted for education and small projects with low power-processing needs. However, their computational power has increased dramatically in the last few years, and they are now used in more advanced developments. In this paper, a study of the feasibility of using ARM-based SBCs as hypervisors is done. The authors selected the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B and the ODROID-N2+ and assessed them as virtualization servers, when running up to four VMs simultaneously, with the Linux de facto hypervisor (KVM). The tests performed in this work include: reading and writing throughputs in different types of storage media, processing power assessment, memory performance, timed compilations of open-source software, and performance of encryption algorithms. The results of the experiments showed that the amount of memory available in these SBCs is a determinant factor about the maximum number of VMs that can be executed simultaneously. The performance of the ODROID-N2+ exceeded the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. However, the community support received by the latter is huge compared to the one of the former, and this can be a game changer when selecting a viable platform.


Single-Board Computers, SBC, Raspberry Pi, ODROID, Performance Evaluation, Benchmarks, Virtualization, Kernel-based Virtual Machines, KVM.