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What’s Red Hat Doing in the Virtualization Business?

Even before Red Hat bought the virtualization company Qumranet, with its Linux KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) platform, Red Hat had made it clear that it was moving into virtualization in a big way. At its annual Red Hat Summit in June, the Linux powerhouse announced that it would be deploying its Embedded Linux Hypervisor, oVirt, which is based on KVM in its server line. This lightweight, embeddable hypervisor currently enables users to run run Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Windows VMs on Linux.

Now that Red Hat owns Qumranet, Scott Crenshaw, Red Hat’s VP of the Platform Business Unit, explains that Red Hat made the move for three reasons. First, to “accelerate time to market for a broad virtualization solution;” then to keep KVM open source, and further the investment in it.” And, finally to “extend our virtualization product line into the VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) market.”

Crenshaw then explains in more detail that “KVM will form the basis of Red Hat’s embedded hypervisor product, which is slated for release early next year. We have strong interest from customers and OEMs to bring the advantages of this Linux bare metal hypervisor to the market.”

“If and when,” continues Crenshaw, “KVM gets deployed into Red Hat Enterprise Linux is still being determined. We designed into RHEL virtualization the industry’s first open-source, open-standards interface allowing new hypervisors and management tools to be deployed with plug-and-play ease. So managing any transition will be seamless for customers.”

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