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Red Hat has massive Linux fluidity moment

Grabs hold of Amazon and appliances

Security for virtualized datacentres

No press release assault would be complete without a point upgrade announcement. That said, we give you RHEL 5.1.

With the fresh operating system release, Red Hat has refined its support for Xen's paravirtualization tools. Users can now perform live moves of virtualized guests and will find paravirtualized drivers for guest OSes and older versions of RHEL (3,4). In addition, Red Hat has added in much better support for Windows OSes, lending a hand to XP, Server 2000, 2003 and 2008 beta guests.

Apparently, the 5.1 release also includes a major speed up for virtual machine I/O performance, so Red Hat thinks customers can now start running beefy software such as databases and ERP/CRM apps in virtual machines. Good luck with that.

Still going with virtualization, Red Hat has revealed more details on its server appliance strategy. It will now work with a broad set of ISVs to craft so-called appliances that can be run on physical servers as well as virtual machines on either VMware ESX Server or Microsoft's upcoming "Viridian" hypervisor.

The appliance thing is mostly a bundling exercise when an ISV's app is paired with RHEL as a single package. Customers can then download this package as a virtual appliance.

There's even a special version of Red Hat dubbed the Appliance Operating System that's meant to help partners with their appliance building. Red Hat will ship this OS in the first half of next year and include a Virtual Appliance Development Kit (vADK), but then you saw that coming.

Some folks that are part of the Red Hat Exchange have already put up some virtual appliances for trial and purchase.

Having missed out on buying VMware or XenSource, Red Hat is now dealing with the rise of virtualization as best as it can. For a company that seems to take forever to do things, today's actions look quite impressive. In particular, the Amazon deal - while swollen with hype - has Red Hat taking the right kind of risk. ®

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