Red Hat RHEV pressed into action

Red Hat RHEV 3.0 makes a serious play for the enterprise virtualization market

Red Hat has released the third version of its Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization RHEV virtualization software package, which includes improvements that would make it suitable for larger deployments, and a new console for self-provisioning.

RHEV 3.0 represents a significant step forward for the readiness of KVM within the enterprise, and should be considered as a viable virtualization alternative to more widely used products from companies such as VMware and Microsoft, noted IDC cloud and virtualization analyst Gary Chen.

Red Hat introduced RHEV only recently into the virtualization market, in 2009 after VMware, Citrix and Microsoft had already established market share in the field. RHEV is unique in that it combines in one console the ability to manage both virtual servers and virtual desktops. The software has gained a number of high-profile users since its launch, such as IBM, NTT Communications and DreamWorks Animation.

Red Hat has been encouraging the wider use of KVM through its participation in the Open Virtualization Alliance, an industry group that generates documentation and recommendations on how to best use the technology.

At the base of RHEV is the open source Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor, the development of which has been heavily aided by Red Hat engineers.

RHEV 3.0 has 1,000 new features since the 2.0 release, according to Red Hat. This version is the first to come with a portal that will allow users to provision their own virtual machines, potentially easing the management burden for administrators. The desktop component now allows for data to be stored locally on client machines. The software also has a RESTful API (Representational State Transfer-based Application Programming Interface), which allows certain features of RHEV to be accessible from other programs.

Additional improvements have also been made to improve the scalability of the software, which was first released in a preview edition last August. It can now support as many as 64 virtual CPUs and 2 terabytes of memory for hosts, an increase over the previous limit of 16 virtual CPUs and 256 gigabytes of memory per machine.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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