Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers on November 3rd. A couple of weeks before the release, I emailed Red Hat media relations contact Kerrin Catallozzi and asked for an interview with some Red Hat employees regarding Red Hat Enteprise Virtualization.
It took a several weeks to get the answers back mainly because the official product release happened... and after I had the chance to download, print and read the documentation, most of my questions had been answered... and I ended up coming up with all new questions. Kerrin found Andy Cathrow (Product Marketing Manager) and Jim Brennan (Senior Product Marketing Manager) of Red Hat to provide the answers. Andy Cathrow will be referred to as "AC" and Jim Brennan will be referred to as "JB".
Jim Brennan serves as Senior Product Marketing Manager for Desktop Virtualization at Red Hat. He is responsible for the market strategy and positioning of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops. Jim has over 12 years of experience in the development, management, and marketing of technology products.
Prior to joining Red Hat, Jim spent eight years with Internet Security Systems (now part of IBM), where he held positions in research and development, product management, and product marketing for various information security products and technologies.
Andy Cathrow serves as Product Marketing Manager at Red Hat and is responsible for Red Hat's virtualization products. Andrew has also managed Red Hat's sales engineers.
Prior to joining Red Hat in 2006, Andy worked in product management for a configuration company, and also for a software company that developed middleware and messaging mainframe and midrange systems. Earlier in his career, Andrew held various positions at IBM Global Services.
[Update: - Dec. 9, 2009 - I got a chance to chat with Andy and Jim in real-time and ask several additional questions at the Red Hat Virtual Experience 2009 online conference. See the comment below the main interview for a transcript.]
Here's a presentation from the recent Red Hat Summit in Chicago about KVM in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 that was released this week. I must say that KVM has come a long way and I look forward to using it. I'm hoping that the OpenVZ folks will build a flavor of the OpenVZ kernel based on the newer RHEL 5.4 kernel that includes both KVM and OpenVZ support. That would be awesome!
I hope at some point they release all of their presentations as OGV files.
As seen on Slashdot and elsewhere is the Bruce Byfield article entitled "The Fedora-Red Hat Crisis".
I'd put this response as a comment to the article on the place where it was published but the site doesn't appear to have a comment system... but given all of the ads there, perhaps I missed it. Anyway... Bruce is inaccurate in a few points that I feel must be addressed.
Perhaps I should have done a better job with my references and as time passes I'll try to improve this... but I wanted to get it out there ASAP.
As has been reported elsewhere, take the front page of Red Hat's website for example, Red Hat has "acquired" Qumranet Inc for a little over $100 million. In a presentation a month or two back for the BozemanLUG meeting... I played some demo videos of Qumranet's Solid ICE product and discussed KVM. Just in case you weren't aware, Qumranet is the company that sponsors the development of the Kernel Based Virtual Machine which got merged into the mainline Linux kernel starting with version 2.6.20. KVM requires hardware support for virtualization to be present in the CPU (Intel VT / AMD-V).
Doesn't Red Hat already use Xen in RHEL?
Yes, Red Hat does use Xen in RHEL although they prefer the term, Red Hat Virtualization. Fedora added support for KVM some time ago... and Red Hat has been working hard to help KVM get to the point where it is mature enough to become a replacement for Xen. They have also been funding a number FOSS virtualization related projects (see oVirt for example) several which support KVM.
The Objective Observer wrote an article entitled, "Penguin Suicide Bombers: The Terrorism of Open Source". The article is quite inflammatory although along the way the author tries to justify his handle. In any event, I thought it important to give the author the benefit of the doubt and to try my best to set the record straight... or my version of it anyway... in as positive a way as possible. What follows are the two, somewhat quick emails (please forgive any typos) I sent in response to the article... oh, and I'll be happy to include any responses I get back from him if any.
I recently attended a Linux Installfest and the primary distribution recommended by those heading up the event was Ubuntu. That's all well and good but during their Linux dog-and-pony-show a statement was made regarding Red Hat that struck me. I don't recall the exact wording that was used but it was something along the lines of... Red Hat used to be very popular but not anymore. I wasn't really offended by the statement nor do I completely disagree with it... but a lot remains to be said about the importance of Red Hat within the Linux community. Red Hat is certainly king in the "Enterprise" space with Novell a respectable second... but many still seem to be unaware just how much Red Hat contributes to the development of many projects and the rapid progress of Linux.
Whenever I see any articles about Red Hat on any of the Linux community sites (think Slashdot), the comments will invariably mention a few things that I consider to be myths about Red Hat. They include:
- Red Hat is the "Microsoft of Linux"
- Red Hat abandoned the desktop/home user market
- Red Hat costs a fortune
- Red Hat created "rpm hell" and rpm based distributions suck
I do not want to even attempt to address each individual myth but I do want to make a few points about Red Hat in an effort to educate people to the fact that Red Hat does a lot for the Linux community and is a major (if not THE major) contributor.
I noticed a blog posting by Daniel Veillard on Fedora People about initial support for OpenVZ being added to libvirt. If you aren't familiar with libvirt, it is an underlying library/API that can be used by higher level tools to create, manage, and monitor virtual machines. libvirt is trying to be technology agnostic by supporting several virtualization technologies. They started off with Xen and QEMU but have since added KVM. libvirt is used by the GUI tool Virtual Machine Manager which first appeared in Fedora Core (now Fedora) but became part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.
Looking at some of the postings in the libvirt mailing list archive for this month, it is mentioned that adding OpenVZ support is a bit different than previous technologies because the OpenVZ tools are already GPLed, "simple and straight forward", and than OpenVZ additions to libvirt "ends up looking very close to the original". I don't know how far away complete support for OpenVZ is in libvirt nor when it will show up in Virtual Machine Manager but I definitely look forward to it... although I doubt it would completely replace vzctl and the other OpenVZ tools for me.