Red Hat virtualization friend of the little guy

Summary:It makes all sorts of sense for an enterprise Linux vendor to seek to define what a virtualization system supports as anything Linux does. Trouble is logical and makes sense aren't the same as done in the world of code.

In the Coen Brothers classic Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, villain Homer Stokes (right) portrays himself as the "friend of the little guy."

By this his constituency thinks he means them. In fact it means the midget working the crowds with him.

Red Hat is doing something like this with virtualization, albeit with no malice and (spoiler alert) without suffering Stokes' downfall.

The little guys in this case are KVM and Qumranet. The savvy will note Red Hat bought Qumranet last September. Around the same time it embraced KVM, which Qumranet supports.

The truly savvy will note that KVM stands for "Kernel Virtual Machine," which puts the whole Linux kernel in its Domain 0, where what a hypervisor can do is defined.

Forget the movie a moment. It makes all sorts of sense for an enterprise Linux vendor to seek to define what a virtualization system supports as anything Linux does.

Trouble is logical and makes sense aren't the same as done in the world of code, any more than they are in movie analogies.

The news this week is Red Hat's full virtualization strategy, in which it will take customers off their Xen environments (in favor of KVM), deliver virtualization managers on servers and desktops, and offer a standalone hypervisor, all within the next 18 months.

Intel and IBM seem on board with this strategy, based on the press release. You  might think of them as stand-ins for Vernon T. Waldrip, played in the film by Roy McKinnon. They're suitors. They're bona fide. (I suspect you're giving me the John Turturro role. He got turned into a toad.)

And you, dear customer, are Penny in this analogy. She's played in the film by Holly Hunter, currently portraying a self-destructive police detective in TNT's Saving Grace. But you don't want to go down that rabbit hole.

Let's stick to cases. Our friends at Forrester think this could be a powerful combination, depending on how much Linux application support Red Hat can squeeze into 64 Megabytes of code.

That embedded hypervisor is due in May. At which point we'll start to see how this real-life script goes.

For now we'll just ask, on behalf of Red Hat and Homer, "is you is or is you ain't my constituency?"

Topics: Linux, Cloud, Hardware, Open Source, Storage, Virtualization

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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