Red Hat sets stage for open source virtualization

The new form of virtualization is built upon KVM

Resolved to the fact that virtualization will be a key technology for businesses to move forward, open source IT solutions provider Red Hat declared on Friday its moves to clamp down on the new trend space, with a focus on next-generation virtualization technology.

The new form of virtualization, the open-source advocate explained, is built upon KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) where the power of virtualization is achieved and embedded in the kernel itself. This technology, it said, is included in its newly-released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.

“Around 95% of enterprises have already deployed ‘some’ virtualization,” noted Gery Messer, president, Red Hat Asia Pacific/Japan. “It is predicted that every single data center in the coming years will be virtualized.”

Messer shared that a lot of CIOs are still weary of adopting virtualization, citing performance, scalability, security, ecosystem and cost as main barriers to adoption.

He stressed, however, how open source technology is gaining more adopters globally, and how it is becoming more mainstream. “Open source technology is already enterprise-ready, proven and mature,” he related. “In fact, the whole New York Stock Exchange is running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.”

The common problem of interoperability among open source software, Messer added, is addressed by Red Hat’s agreement with Microsoft to enable interoperability across the two platforms. “The world of IT today is a mixture of virtualized and non-virtualized environments,” said Mike Evans, vice president, corporate development at Red Hat, in an earlier press statement. “Red Hat is looking to help customer extend more rapidly into virtualized environments, including mixed Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Windows Server environments.”

The key components of the reciprocal agreements, the company said, include validation of guests from both servers, and the service of coordinated technical support for customers of both systems. “Physical hardware doesn’t care what operating system is installed on top of it, and virtual hardware provided by a hypervisor should be no different,” said Gary Chen, research manager, Enterprise Virtualization Software at IDC.

Messer said this opens up more customers to adopt virtualization solutions of their choice, including Red Hat’s four main offerings for businesses: the Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualizaton Manager for Servers, the Red Hat Virtualization Manager for Desktops, and the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor.

All of Red Hat’s offerings are served on a per subscription basis, which Messer described as “the most ideal model for any software company,” given its main capability to change CAPEX (capital expenditures) to OPEX (operating expenditures). “A new release, therefore, is not a revenue event for us. All businesses will need is an active subscription to be able to upgrade,” he added.

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