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Microsoft, Red Hat deliver virtualization betas: News in brief

To close the gap on VMware, virtualization up-and-comers Microsoft and Red Hat both delivered beta offerings of their respective Hyper-V and RHEV offerings this week.

Bigger Linux workloads on tap for Hyper-V
Microsoft debuted the beta of its Linux Integration Services for Hyper-V with Linux SMP support Wednesday, paving the way for running larger Linux workloads on Hyper-V than is currently feasible.

The beta version of the Linux Integration Services for Hyper-V 2.1 includes support for Linux virtual machines with up to four virtual CPUs (vCPUs), compared with only one vCPU today.

Also included in this beta is a time-syncing feature that allows Linux VMs to synchronize their time setting with the parent partition, and integrated shutdown capabilities that allow administrators to gracefully shut down Linux VMs from the Hyper-V manager.

This beta supports Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4, on all versions of Hyper-V. The beta can be obtained from

Like previous versions of the Linux Integration Services, version 2.1 will be submitted for inclusion in the mainline Linux kernel, Microsoft said in a blog.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 beta ships
Coinciding with the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.5, Red Hat made available a beta version of its Kernel-based VM-based Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, or RHEV, that supports both server and desktop environments from the same management console.

New RHEV 2.2 features include the ability to import and export virtual machine images and templates using the Open Virtualization Format (OVF), for migration, to publish templates, and to back up an environment. Administrators can also use OVF to perform virtual-to-virtual (V2V) conversions of RHEL guests running on VMware or Xen to the RHEV format. Support for V2V conversions of Windows guests is expected in a future beta release, the company said.

A new data warehouse lays the groundwork for improved management, by storing information on hosts, virtual machines and storage, and allowing administrators to query that warehouse and create reports via SQL Server.

On the performance front, RHEV 2.2 increases the maximum allowable memory for a virtual machine to 256 GB from 64 GB, enabling virtualization of memory-intensive workloads. Integration with the RHEL 5.5 kernel enables support for the latest processor families including the new Intel Nehalem-EX and AMD Opteron 6000 Series platforms. Also, the beta boasts improved disk I/O performance for virtual machines using thin provisioning or snapshots, the company said.

Current RHEV users can download the RHEV 2.2 beta from the Red Hat Network.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Alex Barrett, News Director at, or follow @aebarrett on twitter.

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