Red Hat unveils Enterprise Virtualisation 3.0

Jennifer Scott News
19 Jan, 2012

The open source leader’s latest offering comes out of beta to work as a ‘dual source’ to VMware.

Red Hat today unleashed the third version of its Enterprise Virtualisation (RHEV) package, promising to be a “disruptive alternative” to market leader VMware.

At a launch event in London, executives outlined updates and features to the solution. These included a new portal for self provisioning virtual machines, an enhanced management system, and a marketplace, allowing users to find RHEV certified independent software vendors (ISVs) for the likes of security, back-up and data recovery and download trials straight to the system.

The hypervisor has also been updated to run RHEL 6.2, the latest KVM kernel, and have improved I/O, networking and VDI capabilities – introducing SPICE for better WAN performance.

However, with the “over 1,000” updates, Red Hat managed to lump in bug fixes too, unable to give the gathered journalists a figure for how much of the number they took up.

Phil Andrews, regional vice president of Northern and Eastern Europe at Red Hat, wanted to bring the conversation back round to where the company was targeting Enterprise Virtualisation 3.0 though.

Unlike most of the industry, Red Hat seems to embrace its place behind market dominator VMware, rather than do its best to bash the competition.

“We do not believe we are here to take on an 800 pound Gorilla,” he said. “We instead believe the industry is looking for a second choice, an excellent complimentary dual source to VMware, especially around Linux. This is where we fit in.”  

Red Hat also had the figures to back it up. In a live webcast from the US, Navin Thadani, senior director of the virtualisation business at Red Hat, claimed a survey his firm ran alongside IDG showed 45 per cent of large enterprises were already running a “dual source” environment, with a further 27 per cent looking to introduce a second virtualisation technology.

“The momentum is growing substantially,” he said. “Already, 80 per cent of RHEV customers are also using VMware, which shows companies are actively looking for and deploying RHEV as an alternative.”

However, talking to Virtual Clouds after the event, Karl Stevens, virtualisation and cloud solution architect at Red Hat, said taking on VMware was “a marathon and not a sprint” and the “long term goal” was to bring customers over to the open source way of virtualisation.

RHEV 3.0 is available now and customers can download a 60 day fully supported free trial from Red Hat’s website.

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