Glu Blog

AWS: PV or HVM images?

If you've been wanting to spin up an new AWS EC2 instance you'll have been faced with a decision on which image type to use. ParaVirtual or HyperVisor Machine images? If you're unsure the AWS docs make the decision clear cut:

For the best performance, we recommend that you use current generation instance types and HVM AMIs when you launch new instances. AWS Documentation: Linux AMI Virtualization Types

The documentation then goes on to note some of the historical differences between performance, namely that hypervisor guests had worse storage and network performance because of the need to translate instructions through emulated hardware. But the paravirtual drivers are now able to be used directly from within hypervisor guests which means HVM now have the same benefits in addition to their own hardware extensions. It's win—win for HVM images now.

Time to switch.

Glenn Gillen

I'm the founder of Glu. I'm also an investor and advisor to early-stage tech startups. Previously worked at Heroku on the Add-ons Marketplace.

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