Modern IT organizations need the ability to virtualize on-premise and leverage the power of both public and private clouds. That's a reality that Linux vendor Red Hat is tackling today with a pair of updated releases for virtualization and hybrid cloud delivery.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.1 (RHEV 3.1) is becoming generally available today, providing a series of updates that help to narrow the gap with VMware's virtualization platform.
RHEV 3.1 is the second major release of Red Hat's virtualization platform this year, following RHEV 3.0, which debuted in January. Chuck Dubuque, senior manager, Product Marketing for Red Hat Virtualization Infrastructure, explained to Datamation that the new Live Storage Migration feature is likely the most important addition in the release. Yet he noted that the feature is initially being offered only as a tech preview.
With Live Storage Migration, users can dynamically migrate virtual machine storage across different infrastructure. Dubuque noted that the reason why the Live Storage Migration is initially being offered as just a tech preview is because it will work better once Red Hat updates the underling Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) platform on which RHEV runs. The current release version of RHEL is 6.3, with RHEL 6.4 currently in Beta. Among the new features in RHEL 6.4 is an updated KVM virtualization hypervisor, which will help to improve RHEV.
Dubuque noted that the full availability of the Live Storage Migration feature will likely appear in a RHEV 3.1.1 update when RHEL 6.4 is generally available in early 2013.
Virtualization is a key component for the cloud. Another core component is the management and deployment of applications to private or public clouds. That's where Red Hat's CloudForms platform comes into play.
CloudForms 1.0 was first released in June of this year and is now being updated to version 1.1. Bryan Che, general manager of the Cloud Business Unit at Red Hat told Datamation that CloudForms 1.1 provides new look and feel updates as well as a new API.
That new API is all about providing an interface for workload automation.
"These are primarily RESTful interfaces into CloudForms," Che explained.
Red Hat is now also bundling CloudForms together with RHEL in an integrated offering called Red Hat Hybrid IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service). The Hybrid IaaS is a packaged offering that is sold on a different model than RHEL. Che noted that RHEL subscriptions are sold by Red Hat on a per CPU socket basis. In contrast, CloudForms and the Red Hat Hybrid IaaS are both sold on a cloud management model where users pay based on the number of virtual machines.
"So if customers don't want to think about the operating system, having one simplified SKU for everything on a managed virtualized machine basis makes it much simpler to put a system together," Che said.
Going beyond just the technology platforms, Red Hat is also venturing into world of professional services to help migrate enterprises to the cloud. Che noted that when customers buy RHEL they are typically dealing with technology they have seen before, as they understand how to deploy an operating system. The cloud, however, is a different story.
"A lot of what our professional services do is to help customers understand how to setup and integrate cloud environments and how it changes the way an enterprise will manage its IT operations," Che said.