Red Hat and IBM Push Open Virtualization into the Enterprise

Red Hat and IBM join forces to promote the KVM open source virtualization technology through jointly developed products and solutions. Meanwhile Red Hat's virtualization momentum rises.

Red Hat and IBM have announced a new partnership to work together to make products and solutions based on


(Kernel-based Virtual Machine) technology.

Together, the companies are driving adoption of the open source virtualization technology through joint development projects and enablement of the KVM ecosystem, officials of the two companies said. KVM is the open virtualization choice for the enterprise. This new was announced at the Red Hat Summit being held in Boston May 3-6.

KVM virtualization technology enables users to create multiple virtual versions of Linux and Windows environments on the same server. KVM-based products and solutions, incorporating management capabilities and scaling from local servers to large public clouds, help organizations save money by consolidating and sharing IT resources. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, designed to enable pervasive datacenter virtualization, combines a centralized virtualization management system with advanced features as well as a KVM-based hypervisor.

Together, IBM and Red Hat will drive adoption of the KVM technology through jointly developing key virtualization and cloud management interfaces and using the APIs in their respective management products, including Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager, IBM Director and Tivoli software. The APIs will address cloud, datacenter automation, virtual storage and networking, virtualization security and virtual appliance management, the companies said

"Red Hat and IBM have worked together for over a decade with a reputation for offering our customers high-value choices for their infrastructures," said Scott Crenshaw, vice president and general manager of the Cloud Business Unit at Red Hat, in a statement. "We believe that open source virtualization solutions give our partners freedom from lock in and the ability to take advantage of the rapid innovation that the open source model enables. Through KVM, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization offers compelling benefits, such as performance and scalability, to customers."

"The recent enhancements to the security, reliability and performance of KVM have made it a compelling choice for enterprises looking for the flexibility of an open standards-based virtualization option," said Jean Staten, director of Linux at IBM, also in a statement. "Together with Red Hat we will continue to drive KVM enterprise adoption enabling businesses of all sizes to benefit from open virtualization."

As more organizations turn to virtualization to consolidate IT resources and reduce expenses, the open approach to virtualization is proving beneficial. Large enterprise clients are already seeing the benefits of solutions that combine IBM hardware and software with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, using KVM technology, IBM and Red Hat officials said. Two joint customers, the Brazilian Federal Highway Police (DPRF) and Cortal Consors, a division of BNP Paribas, have both experienced significant benefits by deploying Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization on IBM System x servers.

"After trying four different solutions available in the market, Red Hat offered us just what we needed to build our virtualized system," said Lourival Filho at the Brazilian Federal Highway Police (DPRF), in a statement. "In the final results, it offered us energy saving, easier management of assets and more availability for services. Compared to proprietary solutions, we saved more than 80 percent in the overall cost. Additionally, the Red Hat support team was very proactive, giving us support related to the general system situation, including minor details not related directly to Red Hat's solution."

"After deploying Red Hat Enterprise Linux, we expanded our Red Hat deployment even further with the adoption of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization on IBM X3850," said Anja Schaffer at Cortal Consors, a division of BNP Paribas, in a statement. "Since deploying Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and IBM for our Banking Applications, we've achieved high levels of scalability, performance and reliability. We believe that Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is a truly high-performance virtualization technology, which fully exceeds our needs."

Recent advances in the security, performance and scalability of products and solutions based on KVM technology have made it a natural choice for cloud providers, Red Hat said. The security capabilities support multitenant safety in the cloud, the scalability advantages of KVM enables even the largest application to be virtualized, and the performance allows higher densities of virtual machines per physical server. Coupled with lower costs, cloud providers are able to offer their services with a higher quality of service, at a more attractive price point to their clients.

IBM and Red Hat also are working to develop the KVM systems management ecosystem, to further encourage the adoption of open virtualization. Planned areas of collaboration include increasing the scope and adoption of the Red Hat Virtualization Management APIs, and building a community to encourage the use of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager APIs by third-party virtualization products.

Meanwhile, Red Hat also announced momentum for the adoption of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization by North American channel partners as part of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Accelerator Program. Launched in June 2010, the Program has driven the adoption of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization portfolio through training and support of virtualization-certified Red Hat channel partners.
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is a virtualization solution designed to enable pervasive datacenter virtualization and enhance capital and operation efficiency. Red Hat introduced Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers in November 2009 and debuted Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops as part of the product portfolio's 2.2 update, released in June 2010, Red Hat officials said.

"We brought Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization to market to deliver new levels of choice to customers who desired a virtualization solution that could deliver high performance, scalability and security at an affordable price," said Navin Thadani, senior director of the Virtualization Business at Red Hat, in a statement. "These features contribute to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization's momentum and adoption worldwide."

"As a long-time Red Hat channel partner, we welcomed the introduction of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization to the market," said Bradley Brodkin, president at HighVail Systems in Toronto, Canada, in a statement. "We've experienced strong interest from our largest clients that are currently using other platforms as Red Hat gains momentum as an excellent Unix alternative. The virtualization market has finally reached a point where it's no longer just a nice-to but a got-to-have and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization fits this need. We're excited to have expanded our partnership with Red Hat in gaining virtualization certification."

"Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is an exceptional virtualization platform combining the familiarity and economics of an open source Linux environment with the reliability of the Red Hat brand," said Donn Bullock, vice president of virtualization and cloud computing at Mainline Information Systems, in a statement. "Through the capabilities of our Mainline Virtualization Practice, we are able to deliver customized configurations for our enterprise customers, leveraging this high-performance, scalable and cost-effective alternative from the leader in Linux solutions."

In addition, Red Hat also announced that TCC Technology (TCCT), a provider of commercially managed hosting and datacenter services, has achieved increased scalability and performance for its key applications with Red Hat solutions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.

To meet its customers' demands, TCCT was looking to design a robust, stable, secure and cost-effective ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system based on its new SAP hosting model. Seeking to ensure its SAP system was running on a high-performance system, the company adopted an open architecture and set out looking for a solution that was reliable and offered superior support and services.

"TCCT provides enterprise hosting to customers, so we need a stable infrastructure, which must be correctly designed by professionals and the product owner," said Kosit Suksingha, managing director of TCC Technology, in a statement.

After reviewing several technology solutions, TCCT selected Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the operating system to run on Intel Xeon-based servers for its large-scale, business-critical SAP-based ERP systems. The organization also utilizes Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform with integrated virtualization and clustering technologies, and selected Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for the solution's virtualization management capabilities. "We chose Red Hat because its competitive and reliable solutions are capable of running mission-critical applications," said Suksingha.

"Although we know that virtualization is a global trend, we never thought of using it as a mission-critical application until we found Red Hat technologies and applied them to our SAP hosted services," Suksingha said in a statement. "Red Hat solutions have proven to be reliable, cost-effective and scalable, helping us offer commercially attractive SAP-hosted services on a 'pay-as-you-go' basis. Under our strict requirement for robustness and stability, we found Red Hat to be the right partner with which we can build reliable and innovative hosted solutions on a top-class infrastructure at a significantly lower total cost of ownership."