July 1st marked the availability of the first Beta version of what will eventually become Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 (RHEL) , for Virtualization.com readers the most important part of this upcoming release is with no doubt the full shift from Xen to KVM. When late last year RedHat picked up Qumranet it was clear that they weren’t going to gamble on 2 horses (Xen and KVM) and that for RedHat KVM was their platform of choice
Where initially KVM was considered for a lot of people as the Desktop Virtualization platform of the future , RedHat is now placing it in the center of their Enterprise Linux distribution.
But they aren’t ready yet .. when RedHat travels around the globe demoing it’s Virtualization platform it got from Qumranet is often critized for not having fully opened the code yet and and that their management platform still requires people to use a windows only management interface (much like Xensource had with one 3.X release) But with RedHat’s promise to open source Qumranet’s code that is probably only a matter of time.
The bigger question however is that of the migration from Xen to KVM. Different people have already build their toolchain, methods and procedures around working with Xen, some of them have based it on LibVirt, others on the Xen tools themselves, they are really happy about the Xen framework but they are really happy about a RHEL based platform also. Given it’s long term commitments RedHat has to provide Xen for a long time to come.
CentOS and Unbreakable, being Rebuilds of RHEL will have automatically KVM support included , but Oracle already showed the world it is aiming it’s arrows at Xen.
So how does the RedHat userbase feel about this .. are they going to follow RedHat to KVM or are they going to stay with their trusted and familiar Xen platform ?
Of course we’ll make the transition to KVM. the compelling idea is that any system running Linux can become a hypervisor with the probing of 2 modules. This potentially makes for a more dynamic virtual datacenter than is possible with Xen (or Esx for that matter). We’re mostly a RH shop, so this is a big deal for us.
Performance is a concern, but my sense is it’s coming around. Anyway, we’ll be testing RHEV starting today as part of their beta, i’ll be blogging what I can at npluszero.org
i would down free rhel 5