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18 May 2011, 11:57

Open Virtualization Alliance launched

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The Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA) has been launched with HP, IBM, Intel and Red Hat announced as governing members of a group which is committed to promoting KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) virtualisation as an alternative to proprietary solutions. They are joined by BMC, Eucalyptus and SUSE as the first members; the group is inviting any company with an interest in seeing increased KVM adoptions to join.

The organisation will help bring KVM-based solutions to market, publish best practice papers and blueprints, and educate the marketplace. It aims to increase the adoption of and confidence in KVM-based options through marketing campaigns and hosting industry events. It will not be replacing the open source community's governance of KVM development, saying that "software, technology roadmaps, specifications, and development will continue to take place within those community processes". That process is in large part centred around Red Hat; Red Hat acquired KVM developers Qumranet in 2008 and has focused its engineering efforts in virtualisation around KVM. IBM have an engineering and development relationship with Red Hat.

The KVM virtualisation technology uses the Linux kernel as part of the hypervisor; it can run Linux, Windows and other guests and has increasingly replaced the Xen hypervisor as the standard in the Linux environment. The Linux 2.6.20 kernel was the first to include KVM and it is developed alongside the Linux kernel. KVM is capable of being scaled up to be able to support 4096 core hosts with 64 TB of RAM, and OVA says it holds "the leading SPECvirt performance benchmarks".


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