Since 2007, Red Hat has made enormous investments in the KVM virtualization technology in Linux, knowing that it could be the foundation for an important transformation in data centers around the world. Through Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Virtualization, and Red Hat OpenStack Platform, we have made the core KVM virtualization technology available to customers in every conceivable form, enabling single-server, traditional virtualization, and private cloud deployments with all the performance and stability one would expect from Red Hat. Nearly ten years later, the industry is completing the first virtualization revolution. We find that customers no longer consider virtualization something specialized or differentiated. Virtualization is simply something one expects as part of a modern infrastructure.
This maturity belies a change in the virtualization market. The benefits of hardware consolidation have long since been incorporated into IT budgets, so it’s hard to justify a premium price for virtualization solutions. Instead of being an end in itself, virtualization is now a platform on which customers conduct a public-private hybrid cloud or container strategy. We believe this is the most exciting moment for virtualization in the datacenter: it’s no longer a point technology, but something that must be open, interoperable, stable, more secure, and ubiquitous. And that’s exactly what Red Hat does best.
We have spent years preparing for this moment. The core KVM technology is now recognized as an industry leader in scale and performance. Red Hat Virtualization has transformed from a Windows-based proprietary acquisition in 2007 to a simple, open, powerful management tool. Coming as it does at this unique moment of inflection in the virtualization market, the release of Red Hat Virtualization 4 is arriving at just the right moment.
Red Hat Virtualization has always handled the basics: Linux and Windows machines side-by-side, rule-based scheduling of virtual machines, and a unique SELinux-based security mechanism called sVirt that isolated virtual machines from each other and even the hypervisor that hosts them. That work was necessary, but ten years of investment made it possible to do much more.
We have capitalized on our close engineering relationship with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenStack Platform teams to introduce a single software-defined networking infrastructure based on OpenStack’s Neutron. We’ve standardized how third-party vendors can plug in their software-defined networking solutions to any Red Hat virtualization platform, without requiring a custom integration for each platform. That means a networking vendor that supports OpenStack can easily add support for Red Hat Virtualization, as well.
Our management interface was long-overdue for a refresh, so with version 4, it has been reimagined. It is now cleaner and more approachable, making common administrative tasks obvious. We wanted to design a platform where you could quickly become productive, whether you were a hard-core command-line Linux admin or a VMware Certified Professional.
Understanding that today’s virtualization infrastructures must coexist with public clouds, private clouds, and even competing virtualization platforms, we have integrated Red Hat Virtualization with Red Hat CloudForms, allowing for sophisticated, policy-based management across these platforms. This integration also permits self-service tools, lab management scenarios, and even service catalogs that span the gamut of virtualized infrastructures.
And there’s more to come. We plan to make investments in our ecosystem, expand the backup and recovery options. We intend to take the same integration work we did for networking and expand it to storage, as well. We will work to create even tighter integration between CloudForms, Satellite and OpenStack. We plan to improve Red Hat Virtualization Host to be more manageable, and more easily host third-party management and monitoring tools.
There really has never been a better time to try Red Hat Virtualization. Interested? You can be up-and-running in less than an hour with a free 60-day evaluation. Download it and take a look at what the next ten years of data center virtualization will look like.
About the author
Gunnar Hellekson is vice president and general manager for the Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® business. Before that, he was chief strategist for Red Hat’s U.S. Public Sector group. He is a founder of Open Source for America, one of Federal Computer Week’s Fed 100 for 2010, and was voted one of the FedScoop 50 for industry leadership. Hellekson was a founder of the Military Open Source working group, a member of the SIIA Software Division Board, the Board of Directors for the Public Sector Innovation Group, the Open Technology Fund Advisory Council, New America’s California Civic Innovation Project Advisory Council, and the CivicCommons Board of Advisors.
Prior to Red Hat, Hellekson worked as a developer, systems administrator, and IT director for a number of internet businesses. He has also been a business and IT consultant to not-for-profit organizations in New York City. During that time, he spearheaded the reform of safety regulations for New York State’s electrical utilities through the Jodie Lane Project.