Red Hat: Virtualization Built into the Operating System

Red Hat announces the launch of the most recent edition of its benchmark open source operating system, RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) 5.4, with plenty of features to admire in this latest commercial Linux. A big plus is that virtualization is built right into this system. This RHEL version integrates KVM, Kernel-based Virtual Machine, which – in contrast to VMWare or XenServer – is built right into the operating system rather than as an add-on format. In fact, just as the name implies, it is incorporated directly within the Linux kernel.

Red Hats’ KVM can run up to sixteen virtual machines having up to 256 GB of RAM each. Because they function like a real machine would, you can use the normal RHEL management tools to make them work. Paravirtualized disk and network drivers have been incorporated into the LREL 5.4 for even better I/O performance. Even though Xen based virtualization is completely supported, the KVM hypervisor will only function correctly when used with the regular/non-Xen kernel.

RHEL’s also improved SystemTap toolset for performance monitoring will make it even easier for you to keep track of your C++ applications. With SystemTap, you can write instrumentation for a live running kernel with its simple command line interface and scripting language. A bigger library of internal “tapset” scripts, and newly published samples, are also available to assist with reuse and abstraction.

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