IBM to bring Linux KVM virtualization to its Power server line

Summary:Linux has its own built-in hypervisor, KVM, for x86 virtualization, and now IBM is porting it to its Power architecture.

IBM announced on June 11 at the Red Hat Summit in Boston that it will be bringing Linux's built-in Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) to its Linux-only Power servers.

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IBM is bring Linux's KVM virtualization to its Power architecture.

What's technically interesting is that while the KVM hypervisor is an integral part of the Linux kernel, it's a feature that's only been available on the x86 architecture. Specifically, KVM needs either the Intel VT or AMD-V virtualization extensions in the chip to work.

So for IBM to make KVM available on IBM’s Linux-only Power Systems product lineup by 2014, IBM will need to port KVM to its Power chips. While IBM was short on details on how it will do this, IBM has been working on bringing KVM to Power since 2011 (PDF Link). It seems a safe bet that IBM will be able to bring KVM to its Power Systems server line within the next year.

In the meantime, to encourage users to use KVM on Power, IBM is opening two new North American IBM Power Systems Linux Centers. At these, IBM will help users get to know how to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) on Power and, eventually, on KVM running on Power.

One former IBM engineer speculated that since, "PowerVM is a very sophisticated and advanced hypervisor." IBM must be "porting KVM to Power so that it would have seamless integration into their existing cloud."

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Topics: Linux, Cloud, IBM, Servers, Virtualization

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, aka sjvn, has been writing about technology and the business of technology since CP/M-80 was the cutting edge, PC operating system; 300bps was a fast Internet connection; WordStar was the state of the art word processor; and we liked it.His work has been published in everything from highly technical publications... Full Bio

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