As Red Hat launches a cloud strategy and inks a deeper virtualization partnership with Cisco Systems, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has a cautionary message for VMware partners. Indeed, Whitehurst claims VMware over the next few years will suffer the same fate as Sun Microsystems. Admittedly, he didn't use those "exact" words -- but draw your own conclusions based on this report...
During an interview with The VAR Guy this week, Whitehurst said Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) already beats VMware vSphere on scalability and performance. However, Whitehurst concedes RHEV needs enhancements to match VMware's management tools.
Still, Whitehurst says RHEV will leapfrog VMware the same way Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) eventually gained management features and leapfrogged Sun Microsystems' installed base for Solaris on SPARC.
But will RHEV vs. VMware really repeat the RHEL vs. Solaris outcome? Hmmm... In this FastChat video, Whitehurst says channel partners are helping Red Hat to line up more than 500 RHEV customers in North America this year:
Within the video Whitehurst covers:
0:00 - Red Hat's push to transform from a Linux, middleware and virtualization company into an infrastructure software provider for cloud services.
1:08 - Red Hat's progress in the middleware and virtualization markets.
2:25 - Open source's role in the cloud.
Still, competing against VMware won't be easy. VMware has a huge following, a massive channel program, and plenty of customers who know vSphere can help to cut server hardware acquisition requirements while improving utilization rates.
But back to the story at hand. Eager to bolster its position, Red Hat has:
inked an expanded virtualization partnership with Cisco Systems;
unveiled Red Hat enterprise Virtualization 2.2; and
announced a new strategy for cloud computing and partner programs.
Here Comes Cisco
Red Hat and Cisco have broadened their relationship by integrating Cisco VN-Link and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.
Cisco and Red Hat want to simplify datacenter deployments, and integration of the Cisco Unified Computing System Virtual Interface Card with the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor included in RHEV helps visibility, control and consistency in a networked filled with virtualization, all without sacrificing performance, Red Hat and Cisco claim.
The entire solution is expected to ready from both Red Hat and Cisco later in 2010 with the coming availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 related virtualization updates.
On the virtualization front, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 has arrived, designed to overcome 'scalability barriers' and comes complete with migration tools and enhanced security, including the arrival of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops, Red Hat says.
RHEV 2.2 can handle hosting and managing Windows and Linux, and provides a single infrastructure to manage both desktops and server virtual machines. RHEV 2.2 also allows for Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD) configurations or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), plus open source SPICE remote rendering technology, for multimedia experiences when virtualization, allowing for multiple monitors, HD-quality video and bi-directional audio/video for video conferences. There's also a V2V tool for converting VMware or Xen VM's along with the support for the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) image, Red Hat says.
Meanwhile, Red Hat Cloud Foundations is a new service offering for building and managing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) private and public clouds. Every offering includes cookbooks, expert services, training and easy implementation. The idea is to expand cloud technology and make it easier and more appealing to deploy one.
Cloud Foundations: Edition One is ready now and will provide information on implementing a private cloud, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Network Satellite, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, JBoss Enterprise Middleware and Red Hat Enterprise MRG Grid.
The Red Hat Certified Cloud Provider Program will certify vendors in cloud capabilities. Once certified, Certified Cloud Providers can run all supported virtualization solutions from Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, VMware and Microsoft.
There's a lot of strategic chatter in this blog post. But ultimately, the story boils down to this: Red Hat's Whitehurst thinks RHEV will leapfrog VMware in the coming years.
That's a lofty goal. The VAR Guy will be watching to see if Whitehurst can fulfill that prediction. And certainly, The VAR Guy needs to check in with VMware for their side of the story.