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Virtualization with Red Hat OpenShift

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Red Hat® OpenShift® Virtualization is a feature of Red Hat OpenShift that allows you to run and manage virtual machine (VM) and container workloads side by side.

New development is shifting to containers, and increasingly serverless as well, but organizations also have a huge investment in applications that run as VMs, many of which provide vital services to new and existing containerized applications.

OpenShift Virtualization (formerly container-native virtualization) lets developers bring VMs into containerized workflows by running a VM within a container where they can develop, manage, and deploy VMs side-by-side with containers and serverless, all in one platform. 

OpenShift Virtualization combines 2 technologies into a single management platform so organizations can take advantage of the simplicity and speed of containers and Kubernetes, while still benefiting from the applications and services that have been architected for VMs.


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OpenShift Virtualization is based on KubeVirt, an open source project that makes it possible to run VMs in a Kubernetes-managed container platform. KubeVirt delivers container-native virtualization by using Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) within a Kubernetes container. 

KubeVirt provides services like those associated with traditional virtualization platforms, providing the best of both mature virtualization management technology and Kubernetes container orchestration.

Started by Red Hat, KubeVirt is now a CNCF incubating project. Red Hat is one of the leading contributors to the Kubernetes ecosystem, and builder of key features such as StatefulSets, role-based access control (RBAC), and Network Policy, as well as critical components of Kubernetes, including etcd (the cornerstone of Kubernetes that maintains cluster configuration).


Making virtualization Kubernetes-native

Making virtualization Kubernetes-native

OpenShift Virtualization is a Kubernetes operator that enables developers to create and add virtualized applications to their projects from OperatorHub in the same way they would for a containerized application. The resulting VMs will run in parallel on the same Red Hat OpenShift nodes as traditional application containers.

OpenShift Virtualization adds new objects to your Red Hat OpenShift cluster via Kubernetes custom resources to enable virtualization tasks. These tasks include:

  • Creating and managing Linux and Windows VMs.
  • Connecting to VMs through UI and CLI tools.
  • Importing and cloning existing VMs, including VMware and Red Hat Virtualization VMs.
  • Managing network interface controllers and storage disks attached to VMs.
  • Live migrating VMs between nodes.

OpenShift Virtualization enables businesses to deliver a platform to:

Jump-start your modernization strategy

OpenShift Virtualization lets you bring your VM apps and services directly to Kubernetes today. Add VMs to container-based applications, and containerize those VMs over time. In the meantime, you gain complete control of all components of your application, VMs, containers, and serverless, all on a single platform.

Faster time to market

While new application development is shifting to containers, many organizations have a huge investment in applications that run as virtual machines which provide vital services to new and existing containerized applications. OpenShift® Virtualization is a feature of Red Hat OpenShift that allows you to run and manage virtual machine (VM) and container workloads side by side. 

Work in the open, with leading Kubernetes innovators

Red Hat is a community leader and builder in Kubernetes and container projects, building on our open source expertise to drive significant innovation in upstream projects.

OpenShift Virtualization is ideal for teams that are shifting to cloud-native application development and have a large investment in conventional VM technology.


Virtualization Red Hat OpenShift console image

Learn what you can do with Red Hat OpenShift Virtualization

Keep reading


What are Red Hat OpenShift Operators?

Red Hat OpenShift Operators automate the creation, configuration, and management of instances of Kubernetes-native applications.


Why choose Red Hat OpenShift Serverless?

Red Hat OpenShift Serverless extends Kubernetes in order to deploy and manage serverless workloads.


Why choose Red Hat OpenShift Service Mesh?

Red Hat OpenShift Service Mesh gives you a uniform way to connect, manage, and observe microservices-based applications.

More about OpenShift


An enterprise application platform with a unified set of tested services for bringing apps to market on your choice of infrastructure.

A fully supported sandbox in which to rapidly develop, train, and test machine learning (ML) models.

Software-defined storage that gives data a permanent place to live as containers spin up and down and across environments.

A single console, with built-in security policies, for controlling Kubernetes clusters and applications.



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