Red Hat Enters Enterprise Virtualization Space
Another vendor has thrown its hat into the enterprise virtualization ring. This one is red.
Raleigh, N.C.-based Red Hat, Inc.
unveiled today a roadmap for a suite of enteprise-ready virtualization products.
They include a new, standalone hypervisor, management products for both servers
and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and a new direction for its
flagship Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system.
Brian Stevens, Red Hat CTO, and
Navin Thadani, senior director for virtualization strategy, laid out a
12-month plan to release the products, and gave brief details of each. They
- Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor. This new,
standalone hypervisor comes in at 64MB and is the base product for
virtualization. Hypervisors create virtual machines (VMs) which run various
applications, operating systems or desktop environments.
- Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager for Servers. The manager will control both Red
Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (RHEL) hosts and the enterprise hypervisor. Red Hat
did not say whether the manager would be able to manage physical as well as
virtual machines, but the implication from a company press
release is that it will be virtual only.
- Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager for Desktops. This is Red Hat's VDI piece. Red Hat
entered the VDI space last September when it bought
Qumranet, makers of a desktop virtualization solution called SolidICE. That
purchase forms the foundation of this product. Along with SolidICE, Red Hat got
Qumranet's Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), another key component in the
suite of products.
- The only product not new is RHEL, but Red Hat
announced a new direction for it: it will be phasing out support for Xen-based
versions of RHEL, and moving to KVM-based RHEL. Xen, an open-source hypervisor,
is the basis for a number of hypervisors from vendors like Citrix, Sun, Virtual
Iron and others, but Red Hat signaled its impending divorce from Xen when it
Thadani tried to assuage the fears of companies that
currently use RHEL and might be concerned that Xen support will vanish. Red Hat,
he said in a Webcast this morning, is "fully commited to supporting Xen through
RHEL 5. Existing customers need not be concerned about continuing its use in
production." He added, however, that the "future direction [of RHEL] is KVM."
New RHEL customers will be steered toward KVM, Thadani stated.
Hat's annoucement marks the second such push into the enterprise
virtualization space to be trumpeted today. Earlier, Citrix touted
its own new suite, called Citrix Essentials, designed for exactly the same role
as the Red Hat offering. This may indicate that the next hot area in
virtualization is enterprise-level functionality, which will be critical in the
forthcoming cloud computing initiatives that are cropping up among every major
Red Hat declined to give more specific product delivery dates,
or pricing information.
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization Review.