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NanoKVM NAT-VPSs: A review
#1
It happens that NanoKVM was the first truly free service I got a NAT-VPS from since I joined this community -ie it's running for 17 months and counting.. The specs are indeed modest but the service is astonishingly reliable and with pretty good overall performance as well.

Recently I asked for a VM migration from the Eygelshoven/Netherlands (NL) node to its Nuremberg/Germany (DE) node. This request was motivated by the desire to upgrade the RAM to 2GB, the Nuremberg/Germany node being the only one having that option available. @Neoon graciously created a new VM on the Nuremberg node as his Proxmox setup doesn't support clustering.

This review's objective is to attempt a comparison of the 2 VMs which will largely reflect:
1-> the performance of the 2 nanoKVM nodes and
2-> the way Neoon partitioned(/capped)  their resources among the running VMs on them.

Before we begin, here are the nodes setup based on this NanoKVM info_page:
             The Nuremberg (DE) node         The Eygelshoven (NL) node
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
CPU:           Intel i9-9900K @ 3.60GHz        Intel Xeon E5-2643 @ 3.30GHz
Memory:        64GB DDR4                       32GB ECC DDR3
HDD:           2x 1TB NVMe (SW Raid 1)         2x 240GB SSD (SW Raid 1)
Traffic:         Unlimited @ 1000Mbit            2TB @ 1000Mbit
(*) Code tag used because data are formatted as a table

From the above table we can see that the German(/DE) node uses a recent, highly perfrmant desktop CPU backed by 64GB of non-ECC DDR4 RAM and an NVMe SSD storage while the NL's node has a 2K12 E5-class server CPU backed by 32GB ECC DDR3 RAM and SATA-based SSD storage.

With those specs in mind, we can now turn our attention into how my 2 NanoKVM VMs are doing on those 2 nodes, performance-wise. Before we get started, I must say that I will also break down this review into a series of posts each one dealing with one resource only.

In this post, I'll only pinpoint to the chipsets, ie the QEMU's machine type, used by NanoKVM VMs.

To answer the question of what virtual hardware did NanoKVM put into their NAT-VPS(s) ?
1. NanoKVM VMs Used Machine-type:
As shown below both NanoKVM VMs are using  the most recent version of the old PC machine-type (ie pc-i440fx-5.2, as of QEMU version 5.2.0.) using the latest Seabios version: 1.14.0, released on Aug. 2020.
[root @ natvps ~]# lshw
natvps.example.com         
    description: Computer
    product: Standard PC (i440FX + PIIX, 1996)
    vendor: QEMU
    version: pc-i440fx-5.2
    width: 64 bits
    capabilities: smbios-2.8 dmi-2.8 vsyscall32
    configuration: boot=normal uuid=xxxxxxxxx
  *-core
       description: Motherboard
       physical id: 0
     *-firmware
          description: BIOS
          vendor: SeaBIOS
          physical id: 0
          version: rel-1.14.0-0-xxxxxxxxxxxxxx-prebuilt.qemu.org
          date: 0x/0x/201x
          size: 96KiB
.......................

[root @ natvps ~]# lshw -businfo
Bus info          Device      Class      Description
====================================================
                              system     Standard PC (i440FX + PIIX, 1996)
                              bus        Motherboard
                              memory     96KiB BIOS
............
[email protected]:00:00.0              bridge     440FX - 82441FX PMC [Natoma]
[email protected]:00:01.0              bridge     82371SB PIIX3 ISA [Natoma/Triton II]
............

As we'll see going forward, both VMs are using the same virtual hardware config. The only difference I've noticed in the full output of 'lshw' command is that the DE node's VM is missing the memory virtio_balloon driver. This is demonstrated by listing the loaded virtIO drivers into the kernel:
> NL node VM:
[root @ natvps_NL ~]# lsmod | grep virt
virtio_balloon         20480  0
virtio_net             53248  0
net_failover           24576  1 virtio_net
virtio_scsi            20480  2
> DE node VM:
[root @ natvps_DE ~]$ lsmod | grep virt
virtio_net             53248  0
net_failover           24576  1 virtio_net
virtio_scsi            20480  2

We may comeback to this later..

Stay tuned for the next post!..
VirMach's Buffalo_VPS-9 Holder (Dec. 20 - July 21)
microLXC's Container Holder (july 20 - ?)
VirMach's Phoenix_VPS-9 Holder (Apr. 20 - June 20)
NanoKVM's NAT-VPS Holder (jan. 20 - ?)


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