Red Hat updates and extends virtualisation products
After introducing its Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) product family in autumn 2009, US software vendor Red Hat has now released version 2.2 of its virtualisation products. The new version was released at this year's Red Hat Summit and JBoss World convention, taking place in Boston and is the first version to offer import and export functions for the Open Virtualisation Format (OVF). This not only allows users to import third-party VMs, but also enables them to switch from RHEV to other virtualisation solutions without having to reinstall guest systems. Guest systems installed with VMware or Xen under RHEL5 can now be imported via the "V2V" tool.
The new RHEV version also runs on larger systems and supports more sophisticated guest systems. For instance, the host is now allowed up to 96 instead of 64 processor cores and can allocate up to 16 cores (previously a maximum of 8) to guests. As in version 2.1, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers is available in two variants: a RHEV Hypervisor which only offers the hypervisor and various programs for remote maintenance, and a RHEV Manager (RHEV-M) which includes management tools for virtualisation environments. However, a server with Microsoft Windows continues to be required to use the latter, because the management tools, which were originally developed by Qumranet, rely on Microsoft's .NET framework.
With the release of version 2.2, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops has also completed its beta phase. This RHEV variant allows central administration of virtual Windows and RHEL desktops running on a server and available to users via thin clients. This technology, called Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD) or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) uses the SPICE protocol, which was also developed by Qumranet and made available as open source by Red Hat after the vendor took over this company. The SPICE protocol enables clients to use HD video, bi-directional audio and video, multiple screens and USB.
Further details about RHEV 2.2 are available in various information videos on the RHEV web pages, in the release notes for the Hypervisor and the Manager, and in the Installation Guide and in the Administration Guide.