Virtualization experts know that Red Hat has abandoned Xen in favor of the younger, hipper Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 (RHEL) — which was released last September — marks the official beginning of their new virtualization era.
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.1 (RHEV), released in November 2009, is a new product from Red Hat — essentially an update to the management tools acquired along with Qumranet in 2008. RHEV consists of two main elements: RHEV Manager and RHEV Hypervisor. RHEV Hypervisor is a slimmed-down version of RHEL 5.4 designed to function solely as a KVM hypervisor.
RHEV Manager, on the other hand, has nothing to do with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Unbelievably, the product runs exclusively on Windows Server 2003, is based on .NET, and is only accessible with Internet Explorer. I know this sounds like Bizarro World, but it’s true!
One Hypervisor is not Enough?
Red Hat CEO, Jim Whitehurst — evidently borrowing some pages from the Microsoft Virtualization playbook — claims that customers want an alternative to VMware vSphere so they do not need to be completely dependent on one hypervisor. Since it is practically impossible to get a single one of the thousands of satisfied VMware customers to replace their beloved vSphere with another platform, the only sensible approach is to promote a dual-vendor strategy. No surprises there.
If customers were actually asking for this, then you’d expect some of those alleged customers to be readily available as references. So far there appears to be just one, a Swedish Internet video company named Voddler. I’ve never heard of them either — but a reference customer is a reference customer, and name recognition isn’t everything! I tried to find another reference, but after almost half a year since the RHEV 2.1 GA release there aren’t any.
Same or Better than vSphere?
Red Hat claims that RHEV is “…60-80 percent lower cost with the same or better features compared to other solutions.”
Same or better features than vSphere? According to whom?
I’ve taken a close look at RHEV and will publish some of my findings soon — subscribe to the RSS feed if you want to follow along.