OpenVZ (Open Virtuozzo) is an operating system-level virtualization technology. This means that the node is split into compartments / containers and the specified resources are allocated to each VPS on that node.
In OpenVZ there are two types of resources - dedicated & node. Dedicated resources means that the allocated resources are guaranteed "yours". Burst resources come from the unused resources of the host system. The system allows a VPS instance to borrow reasources (such as RAM) from another VPS, when the latter is not using them. Since, in this case, it's "borrowing" the resources, this means that they must be returned as soon as possible. In the case of both VPS require their dedicated resources back simultaneously, the processes that use them may become unstable or terminated.
Since OpenVZ is an OS-level virtualization technology, it requires much less resources than a VPS container with true virtualization. For example, on two separate hosts, with identical hardware and subscriptions, OpenVZ should outperform KVM, since it doesn't do full emulation. It does not need to run multiple full operating system kernels, because it can share a single kernel into multiple VPSs. This would result in significant memory and CPU savings.
Most of the kernel memory isn't used by the VPS at all. Any particular VPS would just use how much it needs from the main kernel.
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