In the theme of posting New Year’s Resolutions for vendors started by Burton Group’s Senior Analyst Chris Wolf, I decided to post some for Red Hat.
Earlier this year, I blogged about Red Hat’s moves to Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) from Xen virtualization and dinged them for not being clear with their customers on their roadmap and intentions for their future products and direction. What will happen with Xen in RHEL6 remains unclear at this point. Not good for customers, a clear vision is always more welcome compared to a hazy one.
So here’s the first Red Hat New Year’s Resolution:
• Clearly articulate that Red Hat will deliver RHEL6 as the best Linux virtualized guest operating system. RHEL6 will not include a Xen kernel. The Red Hat Embedded Hypervisor distribution based on KVM technologies is the x86 virtualization hypervisor of choice for running RHEL6 and previous RHEL guest operating systems plus other guest operating systems.
Furthermore, Red Hat remains one of only two x86 virtualization suppliers (the other being Parallels) that has not joined Microsoft’s server virtualization validation program (SVVP), a program that offers Windows Server guests and Back Office application certification and support on third-party hypervisors. Given that the lion’s share of businesses are running Windows applications and operating systems as guests on x86 virtualized platforms, Red Hat’s lack of involvement clearly brings into question their dedication to the x86 virtualization market. Their acquisition of Qumranet in September may show technical dedication, but the lack of partnering with the biggest application and operating system player in the market reveals that they are not willing to go the distance that enterprise customers expect.
So here’s the second New Year’s Resolution:
• Join Microsoft’s SVVP and certify RHEL5 Xen plus embedded KVM hypervisor product. At a minimum, announce intentions to join and certify the embedded KVM hypervisor product when it ships.
Extending beyond technical leadership is necessary for Red Hat to remain relevant in the x86 virtualization market. At this point, the KVM move appears more self-serving (making development and testing easier for Red Hat) than helping enterprises run their heterogeneous IT infrastructure most efficiently.
Posted by Richard Jones