IBM, Red Hat Bring Virtualization to Casio

Big Blue has teamed up with Red Hat to deliver virtualization, optimized IT infrastructure and potentially cloud services to Casio Computer Co.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) announced that they are working together to beef up Casio Computer€™s internal infrastructure with a combination of Red Hat virtualization software and IBM systems.

Though generally announced this week, the project has been an ongoing effort for several years now. The combination of IBM hardware and Red Hat software is common in the industry. IBM noted that Casio sought out Big Blue and Red Hat to optimize its IT infrastructure for its business development unit.

In 2010, Casio installed Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Red Hat Enterprise Linux to enhance optimization of its IBM BladeCenter for increased efficiency and to develop IT systems tailored to specific sections of its business. Casio also plans to deploy Red Hat solutions for future endeavors with cloud software, IBM said.

Casio had decided to virtualize its IBM System x servers in 2005 and moved from proprietary virtualization software to an open-source hypervisor in 2007. Not long afterward, the company decided to try Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, which is based on the open-source Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor.

€œWe saw Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization as an ideal fit for Casio because it provides a key foundation for cloud deployments,€ Atsushi Yazawa, deputy senior general manager of the Production and Purchasing Division at Casio, said in a statement. €œWith Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization on IBM hardware, we have been able to reduce costs significantly while also speeding up procurement, which has helped the company successfully handle business management challenges.€

As a next step, Casio plans to transition to a cloud environment. The company currently uses its own privately built consolidated infrastructure platform, but is also considering using a public cloud environment in the future.

Casio€™s success is part of a growing trend of companies turning to open virtualization to save money and improve time to market as they virtualize servers, adopt dual-source virtualization strategies and build clouds, IBM said. IBM and Red Hat are working together to offer customers open virtualization solutions to fit these needs that are affordable, enterprise-ready and easy to manage.

Earlier this year, Red Hat announced the delivery of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 with expanded capabilities for both its server and desktop virtualization management tools and its KVM hypervisor. IBM resells Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 subscriptions along with its support and service on the IBM System x product line.

Moreover, in recent months, IBM and Red Hat have worked together on SPECvirt performance benchmarks, collaborated to achieve advanced EAL4+ security certification and worked together to establish both the Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA) and the oVirt open-source development community, IBM said.

€œOpen virtualization is important for our clients, our partners and the industry,€ Jean Staten Healy, director of Worldwide Cross-IBM Linux and Open Virtualization at IBM, said in a statement. €œTogether with Red Hat, IBM is working to help businesses save money and optimize their IT infrastructures through open virtualization alternatives.€

€œFrom performance benchmarks to the leadership of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 to the widespread industry support for OVA and oVirt, open virtualization has seen incredible momentum in the past year,€ said Paul Cormier, president of products and technologies at Red Hat, also in a statement. €œWe have heard loudly and clearly from our customers that the industry needs an open alternative, and the combination of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and IBM platforms is well-positioned to meet that need.€