Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8 boosts KVM, Xen virtualization

Red Hat announced an upgrade of its Enterprise Linux that offers increased scalability, performance and management of its KVM virtualization as well as performance kicks for Xen. RHEL 5.8, along with the beta of a new Subscription Asset Manager (SAM) tool, were made available on Feb. 21.
Written by Paula Rooney, Contributor

Red Hat keeps pushing ahead in its efforts to make KVM on Linux the platform of choice for vitualization and cloud computing.

On Tuesday, the Raleigh, NC Linux company announced an upgrade of its enterprise Linux with many virtualization improvements as well as hardware and installation improvements.

Red Hat announced the general availability of Enterprise Linux 5.8 with enhanced virtualization scalability, management, performance, including peformance of Xen VMs on its Linux.

On the KVM scalability side, version 5.8 increases maximum support of supported virtual guests from 128 to 256 virtual CPus to handle larger-scale workloads, the company noted.  On the performance end,  Red Hat reported improved guest boot times as well as enhanced clock and timer support. The KVM hypervisor, for instance, incorporates an updated real-time clock to improve the performance of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 guests on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 KVM hosts.

Additionally, the spice-client package adds support for the newly introduced Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 hosts, which allow end users to access desktop VMs over a wide-area network (WAN) connection. 

Red Hat also points to improvements to the KVM hypervisor that improve management and stability of both KVM hosts and RHEL Linux guests. Additionally, enhancements were made for Xen -- the other top open source hypervisor. Red Hat claims improved Xen guest performance and virtual disk re-sizing while a guest is running.

Red Hat also announced the beta release of a Subscription Asset Manager as well as better support for power management quality of service, new IOtop support for better monitoring of IO resources, support for PCI-e 3.0 and new support for IP over Infiniband in the installer.

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