Red Hat sounds virtualization call

The open source vendor has launched a campaign calling for more users in the Asia-Pacific region to use virtualization technology.

Red Hat has launched a regionwide campaign in hopes of raising awareness of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5's virtualization capabilities.

The campaign, Integrated Virtualization Inside, kicked off in Beijing Thursday, and will introduce RHEL 5's virtualization capabilities to customers through methods such as training courses.

The software company's latest move is a bid to "turn talking about it into doing something about it", said Daniel Ng, Red Hat Asia-Pacific marketing director, on the phone from Beijing. "Many people know about virtualization, but there are lots who are still not using it. Statistical data will show you that only 10 percent or so of the servers in the market are virtualized."

The open source vendor's value proposition with its latest enterprise operating system (OS), RHEL 5, is having virtualization "integrated" into the system by way of bundling Xen virtualization software into the OS.

The technology pairs the OS virtualization capabilities with that of the hardware chip it is running on, thanks to a co-development process with manufacturers such as Intel and AMD. A non-integrated system will not contribute to better performance from an older to newer chip, said Ng.

Other open source vendors have also incorporated Xen into their OS offerings, to compete with vendors such as VMware which has dominated the virtualization market thus far. Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise 10, which rolled out in June this year, is one example.

What Red Hat hopes to bring to the table is easier management of a network's virtual machines. RHEL 5, which rolled out in March this year, provides a dashboard interface to present the virtualization tools to users in a simple way.

"A lot of customers want manageability," said Ng, adding that difficulty in deploying virtual machines has contributed to the low usage of virtualization in the region.

"[The campaign] caters to people who haven't enjoyed the fruits of virtualization yet," he said.