Kaspersky Lab strives for efficient protection and to regularly improve our technology. One of the recent changes affected Kaspersky Security for Virtualization | Light Agent, our security solution for virtual environments. Now it supports one more virtualization platform – Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM).
According to the principle of Kaspersky Security for Virtualization | Light Agent the light version of the security solution is installed in virtual machines and applies for additional functions to a specified Security Virtual Machine. This approach makes it possible to avoid overloading the agents and to save resources. At the same time it provides full-scale protection. Previously, the security machine could only be deployed under the control of VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Citrix XenServer hypervisors. Now the KVM support is added.
We seek to create a universal solution that will be compatible with all popular comprehensive platforms. Therefore, we carefully monitor the situation in the virtualization market. Despite the fact that Microsoft and VMware still remain undisputed leaders when it comes to building a virtualized infrastructure in a large business, we have recently noticed a significant increase of attention to KVM.
In 2015, Kaspersky Lab and B2B International conducted an IT Security Risks Survey in which representatives of companies using virtualization technology were asked questions about platforms they adopted. 15% of enterprises use different versions of commercial platforms based on KVM, and another 16% plan to implement them in the next two years. Free versions are used by 8% of large organizations, with 16% more planning to introduce them at a later time.
It’s not even the competition in hypervisors market that matters. The point is that sooner or later companies come to the conclusion that they need to diversify their virtual infrastructure, because using one vendor’s solutions puts a customer in a dependent position – despite the fact that deploying multiple virtualization platforms helps to expand the arsenal of available tools. Moreover, the survey showed that while major hypervisors are most likely VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V, open source solutions or commercial solutions based on open source are preferred as additional ones, and KVM is frequently the choice.
Certainly, we were not the only ones to spot the increased interest in the platform. Even Gartner paid attention to this platform in the annual report Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure released in July 2015.
Why KVM is popular?
We found several reasons for KVM’s growing popularity. First, in some cases implementing KVM virtualization platform (even its commercial version) is much cheaper than using Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere, especially when it is an additional virtualization platform.
Secondly, we found that the number of virtualized Linux-servers keeps growing globally. Accordingly, it is logical to assume that the companies adopting those servers would find it more fitting and comfortable to apply a Linux-based hypervisor. In most cases it’s a KVM. In addition, the Linux community contributes to the development of the platform hence, the ecosystem of solutions supporting KVM is very broad and constantly evolving.
Another definite advantage is the technological alliance with OpenStack software platform. Strictly speaking, there is no direct connection between them. However, it is most often easier to control the KVM hypervisor using OpenStack tools. The combination of these two projects allows building robust and multifunctional cloud services without much trouble.
Generally, KVM provides ample opportunities for project customization and development. When creating their own projects companies often cannot rely on VMware and Hyper-V platforms simply because of their closed source code and inaccessible APIs. This is especially true of those vendors selling out-of-the-box virtualization – hardware, a hypervisor, and a proprietary cloud shell of their own. An open source hypervisor is needed for such integration.
And lastly, KVM is a light hypervisor: it’s easy to use, undemanding of resources and quite functional. It allows quick deployment of a virtualization platform in just a few hours.
The business use of Linux systems is a very interesting and promising aspect. We believe that many of those KVM platform adopters use Linux-based virtual machines. Therefore, we plan to develop the Light Agent for that operating system.