Last week Red hat made a number of announcements that indicate the company is following the trends in virtualization from the large to the small by gathering up features provided by others in the open source community and bringing them under the company's umbrella, err, big Red Hat.
Here are some of Red Hat's statements concerning their announcement.
Customers can choose to deploy every Red Hat Enterprise Linux-certified application on the widest range of environments in the industry, including:
- Standalone server systems, scaling from the smallest single-processor systems to the largest servers (including 1,024 processor multi-core servers and mainframes).
- Virtual servers, which can provide improved service levels, operation flexibility and efficiency through features such as live migration, dynamic resource allocation, high availability and clustering. Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides the industry's highest performance, complete virtualization solution, for no additional charge.
- Released today, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1 provides significant new virtualization capabilities, including performance enhancements for Microsoft Windows-based guests.
- Red Hat Network has been extended to provide seamless management and automation across physical and virtual servers.
- Cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service deployments allow customers to seamlessly extend their compute resources outside the walls of their data center into "the cloud" to provide an on-demand infrastructure that scales up or down to meet their business needs.
- Red Hat today announced the beta availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). This collaboration makes all the capabilities of Red Hat Enterprise Linux available to customers on Amazon's proven network infrastructure and datacenters.
- Software appliances allow ISVs to distribute their applications as complete pre-packaged solutions, with the operating system included, to simplify deployment, management and maintenance.
- Announced today and planned for availability in the first half of 2008, Red Hat's Appliance Operating System and Appliance Development Kit uniquely enable and simplify a wide range of deployment options, including:
- Fully featured application stacks available from ISVs or through Red Hat Exchange.
- Lightweight portable media solutions - self-contained, pre-provisioned media such as USB keys and live CDs.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux applications can be executed on Microsoft Windows Viridian servers using the Red Hat Appliance Operating System, providing a new way for ISVs and customers to deploy more manageable applications.
It is clear that Red Hat and the open source community are putting aside organizational concerns about single system scalability and single-vendor support of hybrid environments that combine physical systems, virtual systems and appliance applicaitons. It also appears that the company has taken steps into application virtualization by offering ways to deploy applications either as Live CDs or on USB thumb drives.
Many of these features have been available in the open source community for quite some time. It's good to see Red Hat recognized the benefits of that technology and brought it under their increasingly broad hat. This will allow customers to work with a smaller number of vendors if that's their desire.
It is not yet clear if Red Hat's implementation of each of these functions would best the products of vendors focused solely on that market in a fair competition. For example, it's not clear if Red Hat's appliance development and support tools would out gun rPath's or if its management tools for virtual environments would beat those offered by a number of vendors focused on that area.
What is clear is that brining everything together would make the lives of IT executives a bit easier. They could feel assured that Red Hat had done the job of integrating all of these features in a way that was supportable.