Latest Release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux Provides Foundation for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Portfolio of Solutions

At the Red Hat Summit 2009 in Chicago last week, Red Hat announced the availability of the fourth update to its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 platform. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 is the integrated platform foundation of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization portfolio of solutions and delivers expanded virtualization capabilities with the inclusion of kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) technology and Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (Intel VT-d) and PCI-SIG SR-IOV, allowing multiple virtual machines in an Intel Xeon Processor 5500 Series-based platform to directly share I/O devices. The release also features improved I/O throughput and the inclusion of additional tools for developers.

With virtualization technology that is developed as an integral part of the Linux kernel, Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers what the company describes as the next generation of virtualization technology. Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers deploying Xen virtualization will continue to be supported through the full lifecycle of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 represents the first delivery on the product strategy for virtualization that Red Hat announced several months ago, stated Paul Cormier, EVP and president, Products and Technologies, Red Hat, during a press conference launching the new release. Other pieces of the product portfolio will become available during the rest of the year.

According to Navin Thadani, senior director, Virtualization Business, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, customers are keenly aware of the benefits of virtualization but there are three main barriers to what Red Hat calls "pervasive data center virtualization." The first is around performance, scalability and security of the infrastructure that does that virtualization, the second is around enterprise ISV applications and the ecosystem that is required to support a pervasive data center deployment around virtualization, and the last is the cost structure. "We are seeing that the proprietary solutions that are out there actually cost a lot of money and that is one of the main barriers as well to pervasive deployment of virtualization in the enterprise data center." These are all the areas that Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is meant to address, said Thadani. "You will see through the coming announcements of our other products that we are going to start addressing each one of these different issues and making virtualization readily available and readily deployable throughout the enterprise data center."

"IBM is pleased to support the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 with the inclusion of KVM technology for our clients," said Daniel Frye, vice president, IBM Systems Software Development and Open Systems Development executive. "KVM is an important emerging open virtualization environment that IBM has contributed to and will support."

IBM supports an ecosystem of x86 virtualization technologies and will deliver KVM-based solutions in addition to VMware, Hyper-V, and Xen.

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