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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 workloads alongside container workloads.

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

OpenShift Virtualization (formerly container-native virtualization) lets developers bring virtual machines (VMs) into containerized workflows by running a virtual machine within a container where they can develop, manage, and deploy virtual machines 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 virtual machines.

KubeVirt is the open source project that makes it possible to run virtual machines 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 Sandbox 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).

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

OpenShift Virtualization enables businesses to deliver a platform to:

Jump-start your modernization strategy

OpenShift Virtualization lets you bring your virtual machine 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.

Deliver 1 modern platform

The advantages of cloud-native and containers for developing and deploying applications are clear. Red Hat OpenShift is a leading enterprise Kubernetes container platform, with full-stack automated operations to manage hybrid cloud and multicloud deployments, optimized for developer productivity.

Work in the open

Work 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 virtual machine technology.

Keep reading


Red Hat OpenShift vs. Kubernetes

Red Hat OpenShift is an enterprise open source container orchestration platform. It’s a software product that includes components of the Kubernetes container management project, but adds productivity and security features that are important to large-scale companies.


What's a Linux container?

A Linux container is a set of 1 or more processes that are isolated from the rest of the system. All the files necessary to run them are provided from a distinct image, meaning Linux containers are portable and consistent as they move from development to production.


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Kubernetes gives you the platform to schedule and run containers on clusters of physical or virtual machines. Kubernetes can help you deliver and manage containerized and cloud-native apps at scale, as well as those being refactored into microservices across environments.

Start using an enterprise Kubernetes platform

Red Hat OpenShift

An enterprise-ready Kubernetes container platform with full-stack automated operations to manage hybrid cloud, multicloud, and edge deployments.