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Continuing more than a decade of virtualization excellence, the Red Hat Virtualization team is happy to announce Beta availability of the next version, 4.4. Building on the themes of the past, and the requirements of the future, this version aims to improve the stability, performance, manageability, and security over previous versions while also introducing new functionality to enhance capabilities.

Arguably the biggest change with Red Hat Virtualization 4.4 is the rebase from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL). This brings the improvements and updates of the RHEL 8 platform to Red Hat Virtualization Manager, Red Hat Virtualization Host, and the sub-components used by the platform. This includes 100s of requests for enhancement (RFEs) and customer issues addressed, more than 1,400 fixed bugs, and many other improvements to the underlying platform.  

Understanding that this is a big change, the team has been hard at work to prevent regressions. The chart below highlights the number of tests and fixed issues that have been created and addressed as a part of this update. The large delta between the green (defects fixed) and red (defects found) illustrates how effective the team has been in finding and fixing these issues before the release sees the light of day. You'll note we fixed more regressions than we found, since some of the issues were in the backlog and some address issues that came up during development.

Defects found vs. defects fixed - shows more defects fixed over time than found

Adding features when they’re ready

Red Hat Virtualization 4.3 added a number of features over time, including, but not limited to:

  • SAP HANA certification

  • Full-stack automated deployments for OpenShift 4.4

  • Red Hat Insights integration

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019 guest support

  • OpenSCAP profiles for RHV-H and self-hosted RHV-M

  • AMD EPYC processor support

  • Support for IBM POWER9 systems

Following a similar trend of releasing features as they become ready, Red Hat Virtualization 4.4 has some very exciting tech preview features. If you’re interested in testing these features (remember, they’re tech preview!), we would very much welcome your feedback and like to hear about your experiences.

  • Changed Block Tracking (CBT): incremental backup using technology that identifies only the blocks of virtual machine disks which have changed.

  • Managed block storage domains: utilize your storage vendor’s Cinder driver(s) to do per-disk provisioning, management, and vendor-optional offload operations.

  • Portfolio integration with OpenShift virtualizationRed Hat Virtualization Manager integrated management and visibility for virtual machines deployed using Red Hat OpenShift with OpenShift virtualization.

This is only a brief summary of what’s happening with Red Hat Virtualization 4.4, the release notes contain the full list of changes, including the dozens of changes to other aspects of the platform.

Ready to get started?

The Red Hat Virtualization 4.4 Beta is currently available from the Customer Portal.  Follow the guidelines and documentation for deploying the Beta, and if you happen to encounter any issues, or want to provide feedback, we look forward to hearing from you!