Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.3 Gets Real

Red Hat's data center virtualization technology gets a technology infusion from OpenStack.

Linux vendor Red Hat is advancing its virtualization efforts today with the release of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) 3.3.

The RHEV 3.3 release is built on top of the open-source oVirt project, which is led by Red Hat. The new release adds support for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 platform, improves performance and supports a wider array of systems.

The RHEV platform is one component in Red Hat's overall virtualization and cloud efforts, which also include the open-source OpenStack cloud platform. Red Hat's RHEV platform pre-dates the company's involvement in OpenStack, with RHEV's genesis coming from technology that Red Hat originally acquired from Qumranet in 2008.

RHEV 3.3 is now set to benefit from OpenStack innovations, Chuck Dubuque, OpenStack product manager at Red Hat, told eWEEK. As part of the RHEV 3.3 release, the OpenStack Glance Image project and the OpenStack Neutron networking project are being included.

RHEV has had its own image management technology, but the inclusion of OpenStack Glance opens up RHEV to a wider world of deployment options, according to Dubuque. By supporting Glance images, RHEV can now share and consume OpenStack images with other OpenStack Glance-compliant deployments.

As to why Red Hat is now embracing OpenStack technologies inside of RHEV, it has to do with fully benefiting from the open-source model. Dubuque noted that Red Hat has a small team of engineers in Tel-Aviv, Israel, that have been working on RHEV's image management and networking features. In contrast, due to the open-source project nature of OpenStack, there are hundreds of people working on the OpenStack Glance and Neutron project.

"From an open-source standpoint, it makes sense to leverage innovation that is going on in the community," Dubuque said.

Although RHEV is now embracing OpenStack, the existing non-OpenStack capabilities for image and network management will remain in place—for the time being. Dubuque said that the next major release of RHEV is expected to be RHEV 3.4 and Red Hat has no plans to deprecate any features within the 3.x lifecycle.


In addition to the inclusion of OpenStack Glance and Neutron, the RHEV 3.3 release will now make it easier for users to demo and deploy the technology.

With prior versions of RHEV, separate physical machines were needed for the virtualization host manager and the virtual machines. With RHEV 3.3, the management system and the virtual machines can now all be deployed on the same physical machine. Dubuque said that the self-hosting engine is a "nice-to-have" feature that makes RHEV more lightweight and faster to load as well.

In the data center server virtualization space, VMware with its vSphere technology dominates and is a key rival for RHEV. Dubuque doesn't see a gap between what RHEV provides versus what VMware provides, though he stressed that Red Hat is trying to provide differentiated value.

That value is coming by way of the Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure stack, which includes RHEV along with Red Hat's CloudForms cloud management technology. Moving forward, the plan for future releases of RHEV is to further increase integration with OpenStack.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.