IBM will be bringing KVM Linux virtualization to Power in 2014

IBM will be bringing KVM Linux virtualization to Power in 2014

Summary: KVM, the long a popular x86 Linux virtualization technology, will appear in IBM's Power architecture in 2014.


Linux has many hypervisors, such as Xen, and it's supported by more, such as Azure, but it also has its own built-in hypervisor: Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM). Unfortunately, KVM only works on Intel and AMD processors. Earlier this year, IBM announced that it would be adding KVM support to its Power architecture, and now we know that it will be appearing sometime in 2014.

KVM will be running on Power processors in 2014.

In an exclusive interview, Jim Wasko, the IBM Linux Technology Center Director, said, that the porting of "KVM to Power is going fairly well. It's already working in labs and the Technology Center has used it internally in development, and we're pushing patches upstream."

Wasko added that KVM on Power is "no longer an experiment. The code is at engineering level quality now, so 2014 is a reasonable target for it to appear in Linux distributions."

Sources close to Red Hat and SUSE, the leading Linux vendors for IBM's Power architecture servers, confirmed that they'll be deploying KVM for Power in their enterprise server distributions. 

The end result, Wasko said, is that "KVM will become the industry standard hypervisor."

He could be on to something. The newly reformed Open Virtualization Alliance has united more than 250 companies behind KVM. These include a who's who of server and hardware companies including AMD, Dell, HP, and Intel. In short, Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Azure, and VMware ESX will all be facing a more competitive KVM, especially on higher-end servers, in the coming years.

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Topics: Data Centers, Hardware, IBM, Linux, Servers, Virtualization

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  • I have to ask.

    This sentence kinda stuck out to me: "Unfortunately, KVM only works on Intel and AMD processors"

    Are any of the other mentioned hypervisors: Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Azure, and VMware ESX, offered for any hardware besides Intel and AMD?

    Except for maybe Xen, they aren't, so I don't understand why it is "Unfortunate" that KVM currently only runs on the same hardware as everything else. Especially in light that IBM is porting KVM to the Power platform.
  • It is "unfortunate" because...

    those other platforms don't have the flexible support provided by kvm.

    Each HAS its features, but those features are locked to the hardware that supports it. KVM has been designed to separate that hardware dependency - and even support ARM (to a limit).

    The hardware dependency is still there - but having been abstracted (and even more so with the addition of Power) will make it even more flexible, and usable on still more platforms.
  • Where is the slide from?

    Where'd you get the annotated wafer photo of the power chip?
  • one place:

    I believe the original is an IBM publicity release from December 2009-February 2010...
  • Completely false

    "Unfortunately, KVM only works on Intel and AMD processors." In fact, KVM has been working on Power for many years, including old Motorola PowerPC (PowerMac) and most Freescale Power SoCs (e500mc, e500v2, e6500).
    Ben Collins