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FAQs

Container-native virtualization: Containerize virtual workloads

Introduction

Container-native virtualization addresses the needs of development teams that have adopted, or want to adopt, Red Hat OpenShift® Container Platform for containerized workloads but possess traditional virtual machine (VM)-based workloads that cannot be easily containerized. This technology provides a unified development platform where developers can build, modify, and deploy applications residing in application containers and VMs in a shared environment. These capabilities support rapid application modernization across hybrid cloud environments.

With container-native virtualization, teams that rely heavily on traditional VM-based workloads can containerize applications faster. By managing virtualized workloads and containerized workloads as part of a single application development and life-cycle workflow, teams can manage and deploy applications that currently include VMs and containers directly from Red Hat OpenShift, with the option of moving more components of the application to containers over time.

The container-native virtualization will be available to customers who purchase Red Hat OpenShift delivered as an integrated solution of hardware and software through our original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners for running turnkey, on-premise, hybrid cloud infrastructure.
 

Answer: Container-native virtualization is a new feature of Red Hat OpenShift that lets developers bring conventional VMs into workflows on OpenShift Container Platform. Container-native virtualization represents a continuation of Red Hat’s commitment to Kubernetes as the future of application orchestration and a common standard across the open, hybrid cloud.
 

Answer: Container-native virtualization supports migration of traditional virtualized workloads directly into the development workflows within the OpenShift Container Platform. This capability accelerates application modernization by:

  • Supporting development of new, microservices-based applications in containers that interact with traditional virtualized applications.
  • Combining conventional virtualized workloads with new container workloads on the same platform, making it easier to gradually divide monolithic, virtualized workloads into containers.

VMs running in container-native virtualization continue to use the same trusted Red Hat Enterprise Linux® hypervisor, Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), as Red Hat Virtualization and Red Hat OpenStack Platform.
 

Answer: Container-native virtualization (CNV) is available for download to users of Red Hat OpenShift 3.11 or higher. With Red Hat OpenShift 4.1 CNV is available as an operator through the marketplace.

Container-native virtualization is a technology preview technology.
 

Answer: Container-native virtualization lets teams develop containerized applications faster by hosting VM-based workloads on the same platform as container-based applications. This feature supports the division of existing workloads, as well as continued use of virtualized applications that are dependencies for new, microservices-based applications. As a result, container-native virtualization helps organizations achieve their digital transformation goals.
 

Answer: Container-native virtualization helps technology teams modernize application development and optimize their IT infrastructure.

  • Modernizing application development: In this use case, developers incorporate existing applications and components into their workflows while simultaneously building new, complex applications. Container-native virtualization lets teams that rely heavily on conventional VM technology evolve to developing containerized applications faster. It also provides a way to refactor complex virtualized applications gradually while continuing to run virtualized components. As developers modernize existing applications, container-native virtualization provides a way to run VMs in Kubernetes pods, alongside normal pods made up of application containers, on OpenShift Container Platform. It supports connectivity between application containers and VMs, while also letting VMs share networking and storage infrastructure with application containers.
  • Optimize IT infrastructure: As development teams embrace new workload footprints, operations teams need efficient ways to manage them alongside existing investments. Container-native virtualization helps optimize IT by providing a unified way to deploy, run, and manage containerized and virtualized workloads on the same platform.

Answer: When container-native virtualization is enabled for a Red Hat OpenShift cluster, developers can create and add virtualized applications to their projects from the service catalog 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.
 

Answer: Container-native virtualization is a feature, not a product. It is based on the upstream, open source KubeVirt project and is currently available as a technology preview with Red Hat OpenShift 3.11 and later. You can access more information on how to get and install the developer preview of container-native virtualization can be found in the OpenShift documentation.
 

Answer: Container-native virtualization is available today as a technology preview feature with OpenShift 3.11. More information on how to get and install the developer preview of container-native virtualization can be found in the OpenShift documentation.

Answer: Red Hat Virtualization and Red Hat OpenStack Platform manage virtualization environments for datacenter and private cloud use cases for the host infrastructure — including networking, storage, and computing — and the VMs respectively.

In contrast, container-native virtualization is a feature offered as part of Red Hat OpenShift that lets developers import and develop with new or existing VMs alongside containerized applications they are building in OpenShift Container Platform.
 

Answer: VMs running in container-native virtualization continue to use the same trusted Red Hat Enterprise Linux hypervisor, KVM, as Red Hat Virtualization and Red Hat OpenStack Platform.

Answer: Container-native virtualization supports migration of traditional virtualized workloads directly into OpenShift Container Platform development workflows. Full operating system VMs can be run in OpenShift clusters with little or no modification. Container-native virtualization is based on the KubeVirt project.

In contrast, the Kata Containers project focuses on using hardware-assisted virtualization technology to provide more secure isolation of workloads that have already been deconstructed into application containers.

Container-native virtualization is focused on running and managing traditional VMs as if they were containers, while Kata Containers is focused on running application containers within VMs to increase their isolation from a security perspective.

Red Hat is a sponsor of both projects and view them as complementary solutions that take advantage of the strength and reliability of Linux virtualization, including the KVM hypervisor.
 

Answer: Yes, container-native virtualization is based on the upstream KubeVirt project, the source code to which is available under the Apache Software License 2.0.

Answer: Container-native virtualization is ideal for teams that are shifting to cloud-native application development and have a large investment in conventional VM technology. It supports the development of containerized applications by bringing virtualized application dependencies into the rich development environment of OpenShift Container Platform. Container-native virtualization enhances OpenShift Container Platform by providing VM-based services.