Monday, September 22, 2008

Red Hat buys virtualization specialist Qumranet

The Linux vendor will now add KVM to its existing hypervisor-based approach to virtualization, an advantage the company envisions as providing as complete a portfolio as VMware, Microsoft, and Xen.

In a move that gives Red Hat new ways of managing Windows and Linux desktops, the Linux vendor on Thursday acquired virtualization player Qumranet.

With the buyout, Red Hat obtains Qumranet's KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) platform along with SolidICE, designed to enable a user's Windows or Linux desktop to operate in a virtual machine hosted on a central server, officials said during a press conference.

Now joining Red Hat are the Santa Clara, California-based start-up's team of engineers, including the leaders of the Qumranet-sponsored open source KVM Project. That team was founded in 2006 to do development work around a new, Linux-based mechanism for splitting a single physical computer into multiple VMs.

KVM got started with a patch to Linux designed to let higher-level software take advantage of hardware virtualization features built into the latest Intel and AMD processors. Competing technologies to KVM use low-level software-based hypervisors, not built into the Linux kernel.

Red Hat's operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, already includes an embedded hypervisor.

"Red Hat will be one of only two companies in the world with a comprehensive virtualization portfolio," contended Paul Cormier, Red Hat's VP of tools and technologies, speaking during the press conference.

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