Red Hat unveils new virtualization initiatives

Red Hat boosts virtualization with an embeddable hypervisor and management console

Red Hat is beefing up its virtualization strategy with a new embeddable hypervisor and management console, it announced Wednesday at the Red Hat Summit conference in Boston.

"We're doing this to drive enterprise adoption of virtualization," said Paul Cormier, president of products and technologies. "It's the next-generation operating system. We should be talking about operating systems and virtualization in the same sense."

The hypervisor, compatible with Windows and Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments, is now in beta. In a break from other vendors, which have based their hypervisors on Xen, an IT community project hosted by Citrix Systems, Red Hat's leverages the KVM project, which is part of the Linux kernel.

The hypervisor has a small footprint and is able to fit on a 64M-byte flash drive, said Chief Technology Officer Brian Stevens. "We think we can get much smaller."

The company's new virtualization management platform, oVirt, is also in beta. "Many of the solutions out there today are proprietary. We see the need for an open-source management platform out there," Cormier said.

The Web-based application, available under the GPL v2 license, is written in Ruby using the popular Ruby on Rails framework. According to a FAQ on its site, the console is intended for a broad range of users, from those who need to manage just a few virtual machines to big enterprises with tens of thousands of VMs.

Red Hat is not first to this table, however, as its effort follows open-source projects such as ConVirt.

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