Red Hat Enterprise Linux Delivers Dramatic Virtualization Performance with HP Server and AMD Processor Technologies


United States, April 22, 2008

Support for new software and hardware capabilities combine to offer dramatic performance gains

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, in collaboration with HP (NYSE: HPQ) and AMD (NYSE: AMD), today announced continued delivery of industry-leading virtualization capabilities offered through Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Customers are now able to achieve significant performance gains by coupling new high-performance device drivers with the features provided by Quad-Core AMD OpteronTM processors, available with HP ProLiant DL585 G5 servers.

Together, the combined solution offers customers benefits that are not available with competing proprietary solutions, including:

  • Support for AMD's Rapid Virtualization Indexing technology;
  • Support for virtual guests configured with more than four CPUs; and
  • Fully virtualized performance that approaches the performance of non-virtualized environments. Red Hat has worked with HP and AMD to deliver affordable operational flexibility on all workloads, including high-end applications and databases, by allowing for more efficient use of hardware resources.

In addition to providing a highly scalable, power-efficient processor, Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors include support for an advanced virtualization feature called Rapid Virtualization Indexing, which improves the efficiency of virtual guest operating systems' memory management. HP is the first hardware vendor to offer systems equipped with these processors. Utilizing "on-die" silicon resources rather than software, AMD VirtualizationTM technology with Rapid Virtualization Indexing can greatly reduce hypervisor cycles and the performance penalty that is commonly associated with virtualization.

"Red Hat and AMD have worked very closely with the open source community to ensure that full support for Rapid Virtualization Indexing is available with the first Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor-based systems to be offered by a leading hardware OEM," said Earl Stahl, vice president, Software Development at AMD. "We've been able to ensure that customers can reap the benefits of this new virtualization technology right away. We have been delighted with the excellent performance that Red Hat Enterprise Linux has achieved. Red Hat, AMD and HP customers now have available one of the fastest and most scalable virtualization platforms on the market today."

These features, in combination with Red Hat's new para-virtualized device drivers, offer significant performance gains that allow an easier and more effective transition to virtualized environments than offered by competing virtualization products. In OLTP (online transaction processing) testing, measured in transactions per minute, Red Hat Enterprise Linux showed that a 16-CPU fully virtualized guest using the new Rapid Virtualization Indexing feature and para-virtualized drivers enjoyed a 21-fold performance gain and reached 77 percent of the performance of a non-virtualized environment on one of the industry's most difficult database OLTP workloads.

"Customers have embraced virtualization but have been unable to realize the benefits throughout their entire infrastructure," said Scott Crenshaw, vice president, Platform Business Unit at Red Hat. "Customers have been reluctant to virtualize key enterprise applications due to concerns over scalability and performance, relegating the current generation of virtualization solutions to consolidation of QA and to development systems. Using Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors on HP ProLiant servers, customers are able to leverage the benefits of virtualization without paying the performance penalty associated with traditional solutions."

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is optimized to support today's large SMP systems, for both host and virtual-guest operating environments. Performance tests show excellent scalability to match the 16-core capabilities of the new HP systems. Red Hat's customers are able to dynamically configure each guest, adding and removing CPU cores, and allowing guests to use all the available resources of these large SMP systems.

"Customers can achieve lower energy costs while reducing server sprawl and the time needed to complete common data center tasks when using HP Insight software alongside the HP ProLiant DL585 - an ideal virtualization platform," said Scott Farrand, vice president, Industry Standard Server Software, HP. "The ongoing, open collaboration between HP and Red Hat has greatly contributed to the performance and scalability enhancements of HP systems such as the DL585."

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Red Hat, the world's leading open source solutions provider, is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with over 50 satellite offices spanning the globe. CIOs have ranked Red Hat first for value in Enterprise Software for four consecutive years in the CIO Insight Magazine Vendor Value study. Red Hat provides high-quality, affordable technology with its operating system platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, together with applications, management and Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) solutions, including the JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide. Learn more:

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