When Red Hat Summit starts June 22 in Boston, Red Hat will maintain a careful virtualization balancing act. During one session, Red Hat and Microsoft will discuss how they work together on virtualization. But during a separate session, Red Hat will describe how Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) offers cost advantages over both VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V. Here are the details.

The chatter will involve Chuck Dubuque -- a product marketing manager at Red Hat. At the summit, Dubuque is expected to describe how traditional customers typically spend about $5,000 to $7,000 per server for virtualization, with Red Hat apparently charging significantly less for RHEV.

According to the conference agenda, Dubuque also is expected to cover:
  • Cost comparisons to VMware and Microsoft;
  • Examples of pricing 100 Windows and 100 Linux guests; and
  • Technical features of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization that reduce hardware costs, such as thin provisioning and memory page sharing.
The VAR Guy certainly is intrigued. In many ways, Red Hat is an upstart in the virtualization market. The company spent some time promoting RHEV in 2009, but a more concerted effort -- a sort of Virtualization Acceleration push -- will likely surface at Red Hat Summit 2010, according to Red Hat Global Channel Chief Mark Enzweiler.

By the way, several candidates for Red Hat's various channel partner awards have strong RHEV business practices. (Stay tuned for more details next week...)

Still, RHEV has its share of skeptics. Even if RHEV truly costs less than VMware, many pundits plan to stick with VMware because it's proven in the market and delivers cost savings compared to traditional hardware-centric server purchases.

Red Hat could also face new competition as Novell and VMware partner more closely on Linux virtualization.

The VAR Guy will dig for more perspective during Red Hat Summit.

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