Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0: A True VMware Rival?
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) 3.0 has entered beta testing. The key goals: Improving RHEV’s management, performance and scalability. Red Hat is positioning RHEV 3.0 for just about everything — server virtualization, desktop virtualization, public clouds and private clouds. But can RHEV 3.0 help Red Hat to gain some ground on VMware? And will Red Hat channel partners rally around RHEV 3.0? The VAR Guy has some strong opinions on this topic.
Red Hat is quick to note that DreamWorks Animation and NTT Communications use RHEV for for cloud services. RHEV is built atop KVM (kernel-based virtual machine), an open source virtualization offering. Also, BMC and NetApp vowed to support RHEV 3.0. Plus, more than 400 professionals are now certified on RHEV, according to Roger Egan, VP of North America Channels, Red Hat.
Among the changes in the RHEV 3.0 beta, Red Hat notes:
- RHEV Manager is now a Java application running on JBoss Enterprise Application Platform on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
- Support for up to 128 logical CPUs and 2TB memory for hosts, and up to 64 vCPUs and 2TB memory for guests.
- A user portal that allows channel partners and users to provision virtual machines.
- And plenty more…
No doubt, Red Hat is striving to scale RHEV 3.0. But can Red Hat really gain ground on VMware? Yes and no — but either way partners and customers win.
How can such a statement be possible? Here’s the situation: Yes, RHEV has won some business in recent months. But even if a customer sticks with VMware, Red Hat encourages that customer to leverage Red Hat’s low RHEV pricing to potentially gain more favorable pricing terms from VMware, sources say.
Not that VMware is showing any signs of pain. In VMware’s Q2 2011, revenue grew 37 percent to $921 million and net income hit $220 million — up from $75 million in Q2 2010. VMware is roughly four times the size of Red Hat, and the bulk of Red Hat’s revenues still come from Linux subscriptions, The VAR Guy believes. Plus, thousands of professionals are certified to support VMware — compared to 400 for RHEV.
Still, within the halls of Red Hat, CEO Jim Whitehurst has a mission. He wants RHEV to leapfrog VMware the same way Linux leapfrogged Sun Solaris and Unix. That’s a lofty goal for RHEV — especially when Red Hat must also compete with Citrix Systems and Microsoft Hyper-V in the virtualization market.
The VAR Guy will be watching to see if RHEV 3.0 truly pushed Red Hat forward in the virtualization market.