OpenVZ is an OS-level virtualization technology. This means the host OS is partitioned into compartments/containers with resources assigned to each instance nested within. The result is significant memory and CPU. If you are looking for opensource virtualization and VPS based on Linux as well but not so demanding workload, OpenVZ might be a right choice for you.
Virtualization layer is in the kernel of the host OS. Processes belonging to a container are scheduled for execution on all available CPUs and these containers are isolated from each other as well. So from the point of view of applications and container users, each container is an independent system, which makes OpenVZ, one of the cheapest virtualization technology.
OpenVZ network virtualization layer is designed to isolate CTs from each other and from the physical network where each CTs have their own IP address. Network traffic of a CT is isolated from the other CTs as well. Firewalling, routing table manipulations and advanced routing features are supported for individual containers.
OpenVZ resource management controls include CPU power, disk space, a set of memory-related parameters. Resource management allows OpenVZ to effectively share available host system resources among CTs, Guarantee Quality-of-Service and provide performance and resource isolation and protect from denial-of-service-attacks.
OpenVZ allows per-container disk quotas, in terms of disk blocks and inodes which is the first level of disk quota. In addition to that, a container can have usual quota tools inside own CT to set standard UNIX per-user and per-group disk quotas.
The CPU scheduler effectively gives the CPU time slice to for various CTs and determines which process to run in that container, using standard Linux process priorities. I/O scheduler in OpenVZ is also two-level, where container is assigned an I/O priority, and the I/O scheduler distributes the available I/O bandwidth according to the priorities assigned.
User beancounters is a set of per-CT counters, limits, and guarantees. There is a set of about 20 parameters which are carefully chosen to cover all the aspects of CT operation, so no single container can abuse any resource which is limited for the whole node and thus do harm to another CTs.
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