Red Hat's cloud and virtualization portfolio

Cloud Customers

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.1

An update to the virtualization platform that underpins all of Red Hat's cloud and virtualization technologies was released in December 2012 in the form of version 3.1 of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) [23] for servers [24] and desktops [25]. In this article, I restrict myself to the innovations that lift RHEV 3.1 to the same level as enterprise virtualizers VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft – to which RHEV 3.1 is actually superior from a technology point of view, supporting up to 160 CPUs in virtual machines and up to 2TB of memory.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization emerged in 2008 largely from the acquisition of the Israeli software vendor Qumranet, as well as the KVM hypervisor and large portions of the components built into RHEV, including the oVirt framework and Spice protocol-based desktop virtualization.

The oVirt framework (Figure 6), now a community-led project, gives administrators the ability to establish high-performance data center management on Linux hosts running RHEL or Fedora. Red Hat only achieved a concept comparable to VMware and others with RHEV 3.1, because the Red Hat developers needed to replace proprietary code elements (C#) with open source code over the years.

Figure 6: The oVirt framework as a management tool.

A typical RHEV environment consists of one (or more) hypervisor hosts (RHEV-H) and the management system (RHEV-M), which is now finally a pure Java application. One unhappy result of the deal from 2008 was that the management system (Administration Console) for managing host systems only ran on Windows hosts up until RHEV 3.0, because it relied on IE7, .NET, and Active Directory. You can see what the administration console looks like without a RHEV subscription by simply installing the oVirt Framework on Fedora.

RHEV 3.1 brings additional improvements in supported storage technologies, user administration, scalability, and functionality of virtual desktops. The KVM hypervisor supports the latest x86 processors in RHEV. RHEV 3.1 also supports live storage migration as a technology preview. This allows virtual disks of virtual machines to migrate between different storage systems (SAN, iSCSI, NFS) without stopping the machine.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.1 version 2.0, which became available in June 2012, can be combined with the GlusterFS-based [26] Red Hat Storage Server (Figure 7). RHEV can then use the space made available by the storage server.

Figure 7: Red Hat Storage Server is available both for on-site use and for use with private and hybrid clouds – here as a scalable NAS for Amazon Web Services.


Red Hat's corporate philosophy of handing over its in-house technologies, or those acquired through strategic acquisitions, to open source projects after completion of a test phase or the elimination of proprietary components can be observed throughout and is a deliberate choice. KVM, JBoss, oVirt, Deltacloud, and OpenShift are just a few popular examples.

Many of the technologies are the result of strategic acquisitions, which shows that Red Hat is deeply rooted in open source ideas and integrates the ideals of open source with the requirements of an economically active company. At the end of the day, Red Hat is economically one of the most important open source manufacturers and one of only a few that continually make a profit.

Passing on its sophisticated technology to open source foundations pays dividends for Red Hat in many ways. For one thing, community developers power a continuous transfer of knowledge, which ultimately benefits everyone and makes products better and more prominent. Furthermore, community projects enable a cross-vendor exchange of protocols and interfaces, which often makes it easier for Red Hat products to establish themselves successfully on the market as vendor-independent standards.

Red Hat pursues this goal with its cloud strategy, which seeks to establish an open, vendor-independent, and hybrid cloud. Red Hat's cloud strategy thus compares well with commercial solutions, such as Microsoft System Center and VMware vCloud Suite, in particular in the context of prefabricated solutions, like Red Hat's Hybrid IaaS and Cloud with Virtualization Bundle.

The new products contain all the building blocks needed to set up and manage an open, vendor-independent cloud infrastructure – from elementary virtualization technologies to CloudForms.

Cross-Vendor Standards

Right now, CloudForms is the only management platform for open, hybrid clouds, and with the integration of Deltacloud, it has a very good chance of establishing Red Hat's open source cloud stack as a vendor-independent standard capable also of managing cloud solutions by Amazon, Microsoft, and VMware in a uniform interface.

Incidentally, Red Hat does not quote any prices for the products featured in this article, although they officially became available late last year – with the exception of RHEL and RHEV – and refers potential purchasers to its Sales Department. The reason might lie in the fact that cloud computing is still a highly individual and project-oriented subject. Nevertheless, Red Hat is trying to bundle product, project support, consulting, and cloud resources in the form of the Open Architecture IaaS service and standardize both the procedures and the models, thus making the cloud easier to price for the user.


  1. Red Hat Cloud Portfolio:
  2. Red Hat Cloud:
  3. Red Hat Summit 2012:
  4. Red Hat IaaS:
  5. Red Hat Cloud and Virtualization Bundle:
  6. Red Hat Open IaaS Architecture Service:
  7. Red Hat Certified Cloud Provider:
  8. OpenShift platform:
  9. OpenShift on GitHub:
  10. OpenShift Enterprise:
  11. JBoss Enterprise Middleware:
  12. OpenShift Webconsole:
  13. CloudForms:
  14. Red Hat Network Satellite:
  15. CloudForms 1.0:
  16. Red Hat Storage Server:
  17. Red Hat Enterprise Linux:
  18. Red Hat Virtualization:
  19. Eucalyptus in Fedora 18:
  20. OpenStack in Fedora 18:
  21. Video OpenStack strategy:
  22. Deltacloud:
  23. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization:
  24. RHEV Server:
  25. RHEV Desktops:
  26. GlusterFS:

Buy ADMIN Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs

Support Our Work

ADMIN content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you've found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More”>


		<div class=