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Despite the race toward cloud and cloud-native implementations, most IT workloads are hosted in virtual machines (VMs) and will continue to be. As virtualization enters its fourth evolutionary epoch, IT decision makers, virtualization admins, and infrastructure architects face the following three paradigm shifts:  

  1. Leveraging containerization to maximize portability and eliminate vendor lock-in.
  2. Enabling developers in the software lifecycle to build higher-quality code, faster.
  3. Increasing VM accessibility across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

IT teams today have two options: to (1) maintain status quo with siloed technology stacks and risk falling behind or (2) integrate their workloads with more modern application development technology and effectively capitalize on the advancing possibilities of virtualization. 

Charting a cloud-native path for virtualization

In this fourth epoch of virtualization, and in an increasingly consolidated infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market, Red Hat offers a path to a flexible hybrid infrastructure.

OpenShift Virtualization empowers IT ops while embracing the needs of IT executives. The OpenShift Virtualization portfolio charts a cloud-native path for VM admins, built around Linux, kernel-based virtual machines (KVMs), and Kubernetes. Global retailer SahiBinden showcases OpenShift’s stewardship of virtualization management and performance to achieve blue-chip, business-critical outcomes like never before.

The following excerpts from Red Hat’s technical “Ask An OpenShift Admin” livestream showcase the power of OpenShift Virtualization. Each under 1 minute, these 5 snippets explain how OpenShift Virtualization simultaneously serves core and cloud-native VM needs. 

1: Provisioning VMs with the power of templates and a GUI  

VM admins can leverage Kubernetes features on OpenShift Virtualization in both VM and container-based applications without the need for extensive infrastructure changes. 

Competing with almost every other VM software provider, OpenShift Virtualization’s VM templating feature seamlessly pushes admins forward in provisioning pre-configured VM images as the blueprint for new VM instances. This democratization of VM management occurs without having to rely on complex, command-line interfaces. OpenShift Virtualization’s GUI abstracts away technical complexities while leaving room for specialized administrators (take a look at the YAML for further detail). 


2: Live migration with KVM 

To smooth and render seamless host transfers between traditional VMs and modern containerized applications, OpenShift Virtualization’s live migration with KVM unlocks the full potential of cloud-native implementation without fear of disruption. Whether it’s maintenance, hardware upgrades, load balancing, or resource optimization, OpenShift Virtualization’s KVM implementation delivers unparalleled application and business continuity. 


3: YAML for precision version control and automation 

With OpenShift Virtualization, VMs are first-class Kubernetes objects, and their definition can be represented as YAML (or JSON) to enhance admin version control and configuration visibility.  This may seem elaborate at first, but the ability to represent any Kubernetes object textually, including VMs, is key to unlocking the fine-tuned power of OpenShift. 

For its part, VM management with YAML can be easily parsed and automated with tools that support the Kubernetes API, including Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes (ACM). This cuts out manual error and speeds time-to-market. 


4: GitOps and Infrastructure-as-Code

With the extensive automation and source control capabilities enabled by YAML, VM admins can leverage OpenShift GitOps (based on Argo CD) to achieve a “virtual infrastructure-as-code (IaC)” operational model.


5: Pod networking as an advanced implementation 

OpenShift provides a feature-rich virtual networking environment for applications, facilitating flexible, secure, and high-performing interactions between cluster components. VMs can be connected to a “pod network,” enabling direct communication with each other and containers running in the cluster. (Note: Ideally, applications should define and use Kubernetes services to efficiently communicate with application components.) 

A Kubernetes service is “a method for exposing a network application that is running as one or more Pods in your cluster.” [1]  With OpenShift Virtualization, VMs can both consume and implement services.  It is irrelevant to the consumer whether a service is implemented by a container or a VM or even a mixture of the two, even if that consumer is a VM, a container, or something external to the cluster.


Keeping in the virtualization loop 

As a unified application platform, Red Hat OpenShift bridges the gap between infrastructure and development teams, offering a consistent, trusted, and proven platform for developing and deploying applications across multiple infrastructures, including edge locations. OpenShift Virtualization enables new and existing applications that consist of virtual machines, containers, and serverless, to be managed together in a Kubernetes-native architecture.

To learn more, watch Red Hat and IDC discuss Trends in Server Virtualization. Also check out Red Hat’s Youtube playlist with 15+ videos on all things OpenShift Virtualization.

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