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Since OpenShift Virtualization was released as a fully supported, generally available feature earlier this year with OpenShift 4.5, we’ve been busy enhancing its capabilities to make virtual machines easier to create, monitor and backup. Here are just a few of the highlights in our recent release of OpenShift Virtualization 2.5 with OpenShift 4.6.

Easily use VMs in k8s

One main workflow all admins are familiar with is creating VM templates based on “golden images” for sysadmins, DBAs and developers to deploy their work. It’s important to consistently deliver VMs that adhere to corporate standards and security compliance. It’s just as vital to make these VMs self-service, similar to containers on Kubernetes. No service tickets or phone calls to get a VM provisioned, please.

With our latest update, we’ve streamlined and simplified the process for developers to create VMs based on standard operating system images so they can use VMs as quickly and efficiently as they do containers.


Easily create VMs based on default images for all your standard operating systems.

These images are uploaded directly into Persistent Volumes, commonly in a single namespace to provide access to all OpenShift Virtualization users, allowing development teams to rapidly build and test new versions with OpenShift Pipelines.

Informed, one-click creation and deployment of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Windows guests


One of the major benefits of using KVM to run VMs in OpenShift is the equivalent performance we observe across all our infrastructure platforms. Virtualized application and database workloads running on RHEL, Red Hat Virtualization (RHV),Red Hat OpenStack Platform (RHOSP), and now OpenShift have similar performance. There are a galactically large number of KVM virtual machines running on Red Hat platforms around the globe. While collaborating with valued hardware partners, we’ve learned a few things about maximizing performance whilst reducing latency for many diverse workloads.

As we test identical database workloads on both Red Hat Virtualization and OpenShift, we can compare the relative performance of each platform. As an example, database workloads that stress CPU, memory, and storage, have equivalent performance between Red Hat Virtualization and OpenShift

Admins can import their business critical workloads into OpenShift, confident that they’ll be able to serve users at the same SLAs as their existing virtualization solution.


Though we’ve shown that VM performance is equivalent, operations teams also require insight into workloads and infrastructure to identify performance anomalies and plan for future growth.

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VM metrics are propagated up through the OpenShift metrics service, giving an admin the same visibility into VMs, even for guest specific metrics like filesystem capacity used. These same metrics can be used to create alert rules in the OpenShift alerting subsystem.

Enhanced Partner and Ecosystem certifications

Red Hat has always had a deep ecosystem of partners that integrate and enhance our mutual customer’s infrastructure. Using certified OpenShift Operators ensures you have the same great support experience, regardless of your infrastructure choices.

We extended the existing certification test suites to show compatibility with VMs in OpenShift. Red Hat ecosystems partners can now test and certify their CNI and CSI storage solutions, confident that their solutions work just as well with virtual machines on OpenShift.

Supported OpenShift Virtualization features:
 Raw block VM disks:                     true
 Live migration:                         true
 VM snapshots:                           true
 Storage-assisted cloning:               true

Enhanced certification test suites validate storage features used by VMs.

OpenShift is also a validated platform for Microsoft operating systems via the Microsoft Windows Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP). You can be fully supported running the latest Windows Server 2019 and Windows 10 all the way back to MS Window Server 2012 R2.

VM data protection

Data Protection in Kubernetes is a rapidly developing area. The earliest increment of data protection is to take consistent snapshots of VMs in a declarative manner. Users and admins can take offline snapshots of the virtual machine, and back them up and restore to a different namespace. This is an important step into integrating into the large world of k8s data protection.


OpenShift 4.6 with OpenShift Virtualization greatly simplifies the common workflows used by operations and dev teams today, and extends the integration of virtual machines into the Kubernetes substrate. To learn more about what’s been added in this OpenShift Virtualization release, please see the Release Notes for details.

Using OpenShift Virtualization, it’s easy to leverage the critical business logic and valuable data locked in VMs, and bring them into OpenShift to accelerate your application modernization.

About the author

Peter is a product manager in Cloud Platforms, focused on virtualization. He has been in high tech for storage, virtualization, databases, and hyperconverged solutions for longer than he cares to admit.

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