As a part of my course project, I am required to measure network bandwidth and other aspects of Xen, KVM, and Xvisor hypervisors. Most research literature uses cubieboard for such experiments. What factors should I consider before selecting the board ? Why cubieboard is a de facto standard ? Can I use Rpi2 ? what other options should I consider ?

EDIT: I am looking for a board, on which I can run different hypervisors, and the performance measurements will be acceptable to the research community. I am not looking for a comparison of specifications between these board. Also, It is not possible to run Xen on Rpi-2, even though Rpi-2's processor supports virtualization extensions.


1 Answer 1


You did not mention which Cubieboard is used in the papers you have referenced, so I'm going by the ones listed on seeedstudio.

That page has two that I looked at, the Cubieboard A20 and the Octa core A80.

Price-wise, the RPi 2 is the cheapest; about half the cost of the A20, and the A20 being about half the cost of the A80.

Performance-wise, I would look at three factors: memory, number of cores, and processing frequency. Doing some quick research, this is what I found:

RPi2 - 1G RAM | 4 cores | ARM Cortex-A7 900MHz | RPi 2 site

A20 - 1G RAM | 2 cores | ARM Cortex-A7 1.2-1.6GHz | ARM Cortex-A7 site

A80 - 2G RAM | 8 cores | ARM Cortex-A15 1.5GHz – 2.5 GHz | ARM Cortex-A15 site

The more memory the more data you can process / the bigger your programs can be. With more cores you can run more processes in parallel, which is a factor when you're considering virtualizing machines.

Based on the info above, the RPi2 sounds great. It's half the price of the A20 and has 2 more cores with the same amount of RAM. Two RPi2's are half the price of the A80 and you get the same amount of RAM and cores, but note that at about half the processing frequency.

I have not looked into it myself, but I would also take a look at ethernet hardware and its respective performance on each of the boards.

  • This is a spec by spec comparison between them. I am looking for a comparison between them from the point of view of virtualization. For eg. it is not possible to run xen on Rpi-2. I am looking for an opinion from someone who has worked on virtualization of ARM devices. Aug 1, 2015 at 15:59
  • I have not worked with Xen on any of these platforms, so I can't say myself. I found this post, which says the Cubie Truck is the way to go: gossamer-threads.com/lists/xen/users/369702#369702
    – berto
    Aug 3, 2015 at 15:40

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