Details about the Red Hat new platform emerge

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The formal launch of the new Red Hat virtualization offering based on KVM is just a few days away.

Excluding the products names, so far most Red Hat didn’t disclose any detail about the platform that will replace its previous implementation of Xen.

For the impatient ones, Mark Wilson published some concrete information about this product that are worth a check (our emphasis):

…It’s a standalone hypervisor, based on a RHEL kernel with KVM, and is expected to be less than 100MB in size.

Bootable from PXE, flash, local disk or SAN it will support up to 96 processing cores and 1TB of RAM, with VMs up to 16 vCPUs and 256GB of RAM.

Red Hat is claiming that its high-performance virtual input/output drivers and PCI-pass through direct I/O will allow RHEV to offer 98% of the performance of a physical (bare metal) solution.

In addition, RHEV includes the dynamic memory page sharing technology that only Microsoft is unable to offer on it’s hypervisor right now; SELinux for isolation; live migration; snapshots; and thin provisioning.

supporting guests from RHEL3 to 5, and from Windows 2000 to Vista and Server 2008 (presumably soon to include Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2).

RHEV is an x64 only solution and makes extensive use of hardware assisted virtualisation, with directed I/O (Intel VT-d/AMD IOMMU) used for secure PCI passthrough together with PCI single root I/O virtualisation.

The real story is with management and Red Hat is also introducing an RHEV Manager product.

I was impressed with (that I don’t remember seeing in System Center Virtual Machine Manager, although I may be mistaken) is a search-driven user interface. Whilst many virtual machine management products have the ability to tag virtual machines for grouping, etc., RHEV Manager can return results based on queries such as, show me all the virtualisation hosts running above 85% utilisation.

The third part of Red Hat’s virtualisation portfolio is RHEV Manager for desktops – a virtual desktop infrastructure offering using the simple protocol for independent computing environments (SPICE) adaptive remote rendering technology to connect to Red Hat’s own connection broker service from within a web browser client using ActiveX or .XPI extensions.

Red hat claim that their VDI experience is indistinguishable from a physical desktop including 32-bit colour, high quality streaming video, multi-monitor support (up to 4 monitors), bi-directional audio and video (for VoIP and video conferencing), USB device redirection and WAN optimisation compression…

Thanks to DABCC for the news.