Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 improves scale, performance, and security

Red Hat turns up the dials on its virtualization plans for the server, desktop, and cloud

Linux giant Red Hat is moving the ball forward on its mission of becoming a key virtualization and cloud infrastructure player. To that end, the company has announced the latest release of its Enterprise Virtualization hypervisor, version 2.2.

With this latest release, Red Hat said it has updated the virtualization platform to include new scalabilities, migration tools, and additional features to expand on performance and security. Version 2.2 also brings Red Hat technology into the world of desktops.

[ Also on InfoWorld: AppSense provides user virtualization solutions to help with desktop virtualization adoption, and Trend Micro offers a new VDI-optimized security solution. ]

With its Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) solution, Red Hat is on a mission to increase scalability and quickly catch up to the competition, which has quite a few more years on the company at this point. With RHEV 2.2, Red Hat has turned up the scalability dial by doubling the number of virtual CPUs that it can support in a single virtual machine from 8 to 16. The addressable amount of memory by a virtual machine has been quadrupled from 64GB to 256GB since the RHEV 2.1 release.

RHEV also adds supports for today's modern processor technologies such as Intel's Xeon 7500 and 5600 series and AMD's Opteron 6000 series server chip sets to help with consolidation and virtual machine performance. To further promote its enterprise readiness, Red Hat claims to have one of the key ingredients for mission-critical workloads with its Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) technology: high I/O and low latency. The company said that it has achieved over 1 million messages per second on a single virtual server, robust Microsoft Exchange performance, and high I/O throughput in Oracle database workloads.

The latest release also includes the ability to import and export virtual machine images and templates with the Open Virtualization Format (OVF), a feature already found and supported in competitor products from VMware and Oracle VirtualBox.

Perhaps even more interesting is a new V2V tool to help with automating virtual machine conversions from VMware or Xen virtual machines to OVF so that they can be migrated and made to operate in a RHEV 2.2 environment. If OVF isn't your thing, it sounds like Red Hat is also working on a more direct conversion utility to convert Windows virtual machines on VMware or Xen directly over to Red Hat KVM formats. However, this will more than likely be a RHEV 2.3 feature.

Desktop virtualization or VDI has also become a much bigger topic this year. With RHEV 2.2, Red Hat is adding more capabilities to support the desktop. It provides a Web-based connection broker that allows end-users to access a hosted virtual desktop. The company has also included the open source SPICE remote rendering protocol acquired from Qumranet to help push desktops from centralized servers to thin clients or PCs and still provide the end-user with a positive experience. The SPICE technology offers a rich multimedia experience, including multiple monitors, HD-quality video, and bidirectional audio/video for videoconferences. This was one of the main reasons why Red Hat paid $205 million for Qumranet.

Other features, such as templating, thin provisioning, and desktop pooling, are also included. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops supports Microsoft Windows XP, Windows 7, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop.

Red Hat is currently at the Red Hat Summit this week, so there is a good chance that more virtualization news will continue to unfold and emerge. Stay tuned.

This article, "Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 improves scale, performance, and security," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Marshall's Virtualization Report blog and follow the latest developments in virtualization at InfoWorld.com.

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