Is OpenVZ truly isolated?

OpenVZ is our legacy VPS system that we no longer sell to new clients.  This page is still on line as source of information for the small percentage of VPS clients who still host on these servers.  

In simple terms without going into how OpenVZ Virtualization works...the answer is no.

More CPU most of the time
An OpenVZ server will give you lots more CPU power than a shared hosting account that is without doubt so it is a good move for reseller who perhaps wants a more isolated environment but it is not a truly isolated environment.

A Cheaper Alternative
An OpenVZ VPS will always be a cheaper solution and is a really good option for people who run average websites who will not be using intense amounts of CPU power.  Any user who needs a lot of CPU power for a long period of time would be best on a Xen VPS as Xen is truly isolated and nothing a user does with their CPU allocation can affect other users.  A Xen VPS client can max out their CPU 24/7 and not have any affect on anyone else.  An OpenVZ client who maxes out the CPU will cause issues for other users on the node.

CPU Equal Share
An OpenVZ server is sold on an ‘Equal Share’ of the CPU basis and this is how it works.  Each container on the physical node can burst into all available CPU Cores when needed.  This can be advantageous as it means if you need a little bit of processing power it can get it when needed and when the server is idling the CPU can be used by other users.

Not Truly Isolated
Where a user has processes or scripts that are CPU intensive we would always recommend a Xen VPS or a Decicated server for true isolation as with OpenVZ a CPU intensive process can use up too much CPU power and this can slow down other containers on the same Node.

XEN/KVM is better (in some cases)!
Where we see a VPS on OpenVZ consuming too many resources we will always work with that client to seek a solution before asking the client to move.  But as stability is paramount if a VPS is taking too much CPU we will ask the client to move to a more CPU isolated environment such as Xen or a Dedicated Server.

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