Feeds

Red Hat cranks virtualization power play

Move aside, Microsoft, Citrix, VMware...

High performance access to file storage

Red Hat is a player in operating systems and middleware, and it wants to be a player in server virtualization - at least more of a player than it has been since it parked the Xen hypervisor inside its Enterprise Linux 5 distro back in March 2007.

The company has been dropping hints about its plans for server and desktop virtualization since acquiring Qumranet, the creator of the KVM virtualization hypervisor, for $107m in cash last September. After last week announcing an interoperability agreement with Microsoft, which will see Red Hat support Windows instances atop its Xen and KVM hypervisors and Microsoft support RHEL atop its Hyper-V hypervisor, and ahead of VMware's VMworld Europe trade event in Cannes, which starts tomorrow, Red Hat decided it had better explain what it was going to do with KVM.

And so Red Hat today mapped out its server and desktop virtualization plans, which are going to take the next 18 months to get fleshed out with some details and delivered as commercialized products.

"Red Hat is in a power position to set the agenda for virtualization," said Brian Stevens, chief technology officer at the Linux outfit, which is also - by virtue of its JBoss acquisition - one of the key providers of middleware.

Stevens didn't say much on the call except that the broad product offerings would be called Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and that the company was partnering with chip maker Intel and server maker IBM to bring this KVM-based technology to market. IBM's help seems to be related exclusively to the delivering of virtualization for Linux as it relates to its x64, Power, and mainframe servers.

Red Hat invested more than a year to get the open source Xen hypervisor embedded inside RHEL 5, a project that was announced in November 2005 for delivery in late 2006, but which was pushed out by about six months to March 2007 because Xen was such a moving target back then.

Last year, Red Hat opted to go with KVM because unlike Xen, KVM is part of the mainstream Linux kernel, which means developers are not constantly trying to reconcile the Linux kernel and the Xen hypervisor. (That's why Qumranet is worth $107m in cash, and why Citrix Systems and the open source Xen community it sponsors should try to get Xen mainstream as well.)

And that is why Red Hat is going to be basing its future virtualization strategy on KVM. Consider Xen part of the learning experience and something that Red Hat is happy to support in RHEL 5 as long as customers want to use it.

But starting with RHEL 5.4, KVM will be the default hypervisor inside RHEL not Xen, according to Navin Thadani, senior director of the virtualization business at Red Hat. (This shift is already under way with the Fedora development release of Linux. Fedora 10, which came out in November last year, has both Xen and KVM hypervisors, but Fedora 11, due at the end of May, will default to KVM. The default position on installation is not just a matter of preference, but a signal that KVM will be ready for primetime.

High performance access to file storage

Next page: Inaugural KVM

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.