Red Hat Introduces Virtualization Platform for Heterogeneous Servers and Clouds

Red Hat has announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers, a new product set in the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization portfolio. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers is designed to enable pervasive adoption of virtualization, with a comprehensive solution combining a standalone hypervisor and virtualization management.

While the benefits of server virtualization are widely understood, "if you look at the penetration of virtualization in the enterprise data center, you find that only between 10% and 30% of the servers are virtualized," states Navin Thadani, senior director, Virtualization Business at Red Hat. "And you also find that it is the lighter production workloads that run in virtual machines; the core enterprise applications still run on bare metal servers."

According to Thadani, a primary reason virtualization has not been more deeply adopted is that enterprises are concerned about the performance, scalability and security of the existing virtualization solutions. "The second reason is that virtualizing file and print or web servers is one thing, but virtualizing your core enterprise applications or packaged ISV applications requires the complete alignment of the ecosystem as well." And finally, the economic constraints placed by existing proprietary virtualization vendors are yet another significant barrier to pervasive virtualization adoption, says Thadani. "That is really where Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization comes in. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is a portfolio of products that is really designed to take virtualization to the next level in the enterprise data center."

In February 2009, Red Hat announced plans to deliver the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization portfolio, building on its Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system platform, offering the security, performance, scalability and cost advantages of open source virtualization technology. In June 2009, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers entered a worldwide beta. Two months ago, in September 2009, Red Hat delivered the foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4, which offers next-generation Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) virtualization technology.

The availability of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers signals the next phase of the portfolio. The release includes Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor, a standalone, lightweight, high-performance hypervisor designed to host Linux and Microsoft Windows virtual servers and desktops. It provides a virtualization foundation for cloud deployments and other dynamic IT environments. Using KVM technology, the hypervisor provides high performance and security coupled with memory sharing technology, which permits more efficient guest consolidation, and enterprise features such as live migration.

It also includes Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager for Servers, a platform for configuring, provisioning, managing and organizing virtualized Linux and Microsoft Windows servers. With management capabilities as well as search and grouping features, Virtualization Manager is intended to allow customers to efficiently control a virtualized infrastructure.

"IBM has been working with Red Hat in the open source community to provide open source virtualization technology to the market," says Daniel Frye, vice president, IBM Open Systems Development. "We believe this technology will be a significant force in the market and Red Hat's leadership in establishing the KVM-based Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization ecosystem will play an important role in meeting market demand."

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops is expected to be made generally available in early 2010.

To learn more about the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization portfolio, go here.