Red Hat recently released Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.3 beta and, though still just in testing, the new features look promising and give a good insight into the plans the company has for the future.
When Red Hat first launched Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV), it was mainly a virtualization platform and offered an alternative to VMware vSphere, providing similar features for a much lower price. Over the last three years, RHEV has struggled to make inroads into enterprises, and is mostly adopted by Linux administrators and hosting providers. Given the interest from that specific market, Red Hat is currently shifting its focus by bringing the development of RHEV and Red Hat's cloud products together. RHEV won't be completely consumed by the Red Hat cloud offering and will still be available as a virtualization management platform, but will feature new cloud-focused features. In Red Hat's announcement of RHEV 3.3 Beta, the company showed its vision of empowering organizations on their journey from traditional data center virtualization to cloud computing. RHEV 3.3 includes several new features that support this journey.
First, RHEV 3.3 integrates the OpenStack Neutron Network Service, meaning that from now on, the process of configuring and managing networks is the same for RHEV 3.3 and OpenStack. Likewise, the OpenStack Image Service (Glance) is integrated, which allows RHEV to use an image library available from OpenStack, making deployment of virtual machines (VMs) a lot easier.
Some features have been added that don't have such a clear OpenStack signature. One is dynamic workload balancing, which makes RHEV behave more like a cloud. It allows administrators to write their own workload balancing scripts to make sure that VMs are running on hosts that have sufficient resources. The new service-level agreement (SLA) manager is added to help compute the CPU and memory needs of VMs, as related to available resources on hosts. That means that it will be easier to guarantee that an organization will meet the SLA.
Beyond adding new features, RHEV has enhanced previous options in the latest version. One of those features is Red Hat Storage, an integrated approach to distributed storage, allowing for a better interface to create distributed storage environments directly from RHEV.
RHEV 3.3 is the first version that clearly shows RHEV is a part of a bigger entity -- Red Hat's Cloud infrastructure that it introduced in June 2013. Together with the OpenStack Platform and Red Hat CloudForms, RHEV offers the foundation for an organization looking to adopt cloud computing. This is an important step forward for RHEV and clearly shows Red Hat's vision. The new features of RHEV 3.3 also make it a useful upgrade for small sites that don't have any intention of using cloud computing.