In the world of virtualization and hypervisors, VMware has been and still remains the top dog in the virtual food chain. But in the open source community, Xen has been the de facto standard for hypervisor technology for quite some time.
But that de facto standard label may be waning for some in the open source community and evaporating into the cloud. Case in point: Red Hat, a longtime supporter of Xen, is giving the virtualization platform the cold shoulder. With its planned release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.0, Red Hat is now ready to officially pull the plug on Xen in favor of the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) technology developed by Qumranet, which Red Hat acquired back in 2008.
Xen and KVM have co-existed as virtualization platforms within RHEL 5.4 and 5.5, but it should have been clear back then to most that Xen would eventually disappear from the Red Hat distro. Its removal was just a matter of time until the KVM platform and its toolset matured to the point where Red Hat could support its user base on the new technology. According to Red Hat, dropping Xen from the distro will free the company from the large amount of work involved with maintaining two hypervisor code bases.
"Looking to the future, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 blurs the lines between virtual, physical, and cloud computing to address shifts taking place in the modern IT environment. Featuring updated core technology, from the kernel to the application infrastructure to the development tool chain, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 is designed to meet the needs of the coming generations of hardware and software technologies," said Red Hat in a corporate announcement.