The companies will promote adoption of the KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine)-based virtualisation technology through joint development projects. The KVM technology allows a business to create multiple virtual versions of Linux and Windows environments on the same server.
KVM-based products and solutions can scale from local servers to large public clouds and mean that businesses can potentially save money by sharing IT resources without the cost and constraints of a proprietary solution. Other benefits include improved performance and better security.
The companies maintain that enterprise clients are already seeing the benefits of combining IBM hardware and software with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, using KVM technology. Lourival Filho at the Brazilian Federal Highway Police (DPRF), is quoted as saying; "After trying four different solutions available in the market, Red Hat offered us just what we needed to build our virtualised system. In the final results, it offered us energy saving, easier management of assets and more availability for services. Compared to proprietary solutions, we saved more than 80% in the overall cost."
IBM and Red Hat will will develop virtualisation and cloud management interfaces and use the APIs in their respective management products, including Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager, IBM Director and Tivoli software. The APIs will address cloud, data centre automation, virtual storage and networking, virtualization security and virtual appliance management
Well open source virtualisation has a lot going for it, but is faced with some powerful proprietary opposition, particularly VMware. From the green ICT perspective, the flexibility and lower cost of open source should mean wider adoption, helping to reduce IT energy use and emissions. In the enterprise market, though, there are a lot of other issues that will be scrutinised before purchase.
There have been rumours in the past that IBM might buy Red Hat. That would be an interesting market development and potentially give a significant boost to open source virtualisation.