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.
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.
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.
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Sander van Vugt asks:
Do you think RHEV 3.2 is on par with vSphere and Hyper-V?
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