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Shining the spotlight on RHEV 3.2 and sVirt support

With a plug-in framework and complete sVirt support, RHEV 3.2 offers more enterprise-level security and integration than before.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization has come a long way from its days as a Windows-dependent platform. RHEV 3.2 now...

offers the security and integration you would expect at the enterprise level.

At the 2013 Red Hat Summit in Boston, Red Hat announced the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.2. This version of RHEV offers features that make it easier to secure and integrate the platform in other environments.

The list of new features includes improved support for processors, the option to address larger amounts of memory and storage live migration. The plug-in framework also makes it easier to use third party products, and improved sVirt support enables full security for virtual machines.

Plug-in framework

A product that does not seamlessly integrate with products from other vendors is of no value to a modern homogenous data center. Red Hat addressed this issue by outfitting RHEV 3.2 with a plug-in framework. The framework allows any external application to integrate into the RHEV environment. This architecture lets external applications benefit the environment as if they were local applications.

Red Hat Storage is a good example of such an application. Rather than configuring the Red Hat Storage (RHS) environment from the RHS management interface, RHEV administrators can now select a Red Hat Storage option like any of the other available storage options. This does, however, open an interface that requires a few steps to configure the Red Hat Storage environment.

Read more about RHEV and its features

Configuring RHEV high availability

Preparing for a RHEV 3.1 upgrade

Putting together a RHEV test environment

Integrated external applications

Red Hat also announced the names of some partners providing applications that integrate with RHEV. NetApp offers a Virtual Storage Console plug-in that interfaces with NetApp SAN environments. Administrators no longer need to work with the interface provided by the storage vendor.

In addition to NetApp, Symantec is currently working to integrate Veritas Cluster Server with RHEV. Veritas Cluster Server is used in many UNIX environments, and administrators familiar with Veritas have been reluctant to start with RHEV because of the formerly absent functionality.

RHEV and sVirt

The new integration of RHEV and sVirt (SELinux virtualization) offers security for RHEV and the underlying KVM platform. This integration also ensures that a compromised VM can never bring down the host operating system.

SELinux, the technology behind sVirt, has been used in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform for about a decade. It implements kernel-level security, which automatically blocks all syscalls unless specifically allowed. Without sVirt, a VM could make a malformed syscall to the kvm module in the Linux kernel of the host operating system, but VMs are completely isolated with sVirt.

RHEV 3.2 has become an all-inclusive server virtualization platform for Linux environments, but time will tell if Red Hat will focus on virtualizing Windows servers in the future.

This was last published in June 2013

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Do you think RHEV 3.2 is on par with vSphere and Hyper-V?
looking at the features required for an day to day operations of an visualization environment RHEV 3.2 does all for much less cost when compared to vmware.
It's a question of scale. For the largest environments, RHEV is still lacking robust DR features (replication options or integration) and facilities for enterprise backup tools. However, for smaller installations, I'd say that yes RHEV is easily the equivalent of VMware or Hyper-v with a considerable cost saving too!
It has been on par since version 2.2
It's getting closer and is about 1/3rd the price, but still has ways to catch up. It's finally to the level of ESX 3, has a ways to reach vsphere 5.... That said, it's getting good enough where price is a significant factor.
RHEV is on par with Hyper-V, not vsphere (yet).
Support in EMEA is not good. P2V conversion tool is inadequate. SDN and networking support is not as good as vSphere. Spice protocol doesn't support remote printing , 3D graphics, etc. V2V tools is just plain voodoo. It is not easy to migrate existing KVM machines into the platform. libvirt guestfs and those other tools are wonderful for distro based virtualization but they become "behind the scenes" magic that we can't use to repair things such as booting problems, etc within the VM.

I keep trying to get clients to look at RHEV-M. If their first experience is with OVirt, then its a lost cause. It not like experiencing CentOS then moving to RHEL.
free and hibillty
I have all three in our environment. When we have had networking blips or a GBIC on a SAN go bad or some other supporting infrastructure service or device problems, VMWare registers the event, but stays up. KVM sometimes stayed up, but we have had some cluster wide outage - especially with blips in storage path - even though we had redundant paths. Hyper-V was more stable & robust than KVM, but neither was as good as VMWare. However, for the cost difference between the three products, it is worth having one alternative solution to VMWare in house for systems that don't require the same level of availability or service.
Just no, missing some features to reach theese other technology especially about network and storage and flexibility features. But in these last two years RHEV is very grown and I think that it could reach the others. if no, at least it' ll have some other features that make it unique.
It is most likely to be exceeding that HyperV and vSphere does.
I consider it more stable / secure and affordable
If you are working with centralized san's the two products are on par especially if you are using netapp's products. If you are largely using local storage or a storage product that doesn't fit the current storage model then vmware is going to win on the feature end of this. Also if you need to support more unusual OS's like freebsd or os/2 then vmware has an edge as well but the gap has been shrinking on each RHEV release so by the time 4.0 is out I can see that feature gap going away.