Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 on IBM System X – a Smarter Choice


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Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 on IBM System X – a Smarter Choice

  1. 1. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 onIBM System X – a Smarter Choice Virtualization and cloud computing are compelling technologies that are driving the future of computing. By transitioning workloads from physical servers to virtual machines, datacenter consolidation significantly increases the utilization and agility of computing resources while reducing operating costs with more efficient use of power and space. Capital cost savings in server hardware is the most immediate benefit and can range from a reduction of 40-75%. Datacenter operations also benefit from the improved on-going management of servers as well as reduced requirements for space and power. Virtual machines can be provisioned much more rapidly than physical servers. High availability and rapid recovery can easily be built into the solution much more cheaply than with physical servers (offering cost savings for ongoing business continuity). Through resource scheduling and policy-driven workload balancing, optimization of the entire virtual infrastructure can be more effectively maintained. At the same time, virtualization solutions must deliver enterprise- level functionality and capabilities in terms of performance, scalability, security, and manage- ability in order to be viable. Based on a long and successful collaboration, Red Hat and IBM are poised to offer organizations unparalleled virtualization opportunities through the unique com- bination of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 and IBM System x. IBM and Red hat: A Strong History of Innovation and Collaboration It would be a challenge to find an organization with a longer and greater depth of virtualization experience than IBM. With a history of virtualization innovation extending back into the 1960s, IBM is in a unique position to add value to open virtualization solutions. As shown in Figure 1, IBM and Red Hat have a strong and long-standing tradition of industry-leading collaboration around Linux, and around virtualization technology in particular.
  2. 2. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 on IBM System X This close collaboration enables IBM to leverage new capabilities of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 earlier with IBM System x hardware. In fact, IBM System x is specifically opti- mized for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. These systems have been shown to deliver dramatically better performance and scalability than alternative combi- nations. In particular, IBM’s eX5 server innovations provide breakthrough virtualization agility. MAX5 memory allows organizations to scale memory capacity up to five times that of non-eX5 servers. Memory can now be scaled independently from CPUs to get more out of business-crit- ical, enterprise solutions such as business intelligence, enterprise resource planning, and data- bases. Input/output (I/O) capacity is also superior with four times the I/O ports of traditional systems equipped with 10 Gigabit Ethernet. OVA and oVirt rt y System x & KVM goes upstream Blade Center Red Hat & IBM start KVM investment Intel adds x86 hardware virtualization Power Systems Virtualization on POWER Virtualization on IBM mainframes Systems z 1967 1997 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2 Figure 1. IBM has a long and unassailable record of innovation in virtualization technology, dating back into the 1960s. The collaboration between IBM and Red Hat brings the following advantages to enterprises: •  Lower total cost of ownership •  Enterprise-class performance, scalability, and security •  Technical leadership and business agility through the open source development community •  A lower-cost, more scalable and open cloud •  An ecosystem of virtualization management tools and ISV applications 2
  3. 3. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 on IBM System X Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 As adoption of virtualization technology grows, it is following a now-familiar path. Once the only option, early proprietary solutions are gradually giving way to open standards and open source technologies. Just as open source Linux solutions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux have rapidly replaced proprietary UNIX systems, open source hypervisor technology now competes directly with proprietary virtualization technologies. The payoff is predictable in terms of reduced costs and eliminated vendor lock-in. The introduction of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 in particular positions the open source Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor as a strategic alternative. Unlike proprietary virtualization technologies that restrict organizations to proprietary virtualization and cloud stacks, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 offers a superior balance of enterprise virtualiza- tion management features, performance, and scalability for Linux and Windows workloads at a fraction of the cost. Because Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is based on the open source KVM hypervisor, it offers an open, interoperable solution from Red Hat, a trusted enterprise vendor, without the lock-in of proprietary hypervisor solutions. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 is a complete virtualization management solution for server and desktop virtualization, and it is the first enterprise-ready, fully open source virtual- ization platform. It is based on the powerful KVM hypervisor and the oVirt open source virtual- ization management project. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization represents a true strategic virtualization alternative for orga- nizations looking for better total cost of ownership (TCO), faster return on investment (ROI), and accelerated ROI when compared to proprietary virtualization vendors. An enterprise-ready offering ideal for large-scale virtualization and inter- nal cloud deployments Virtualization provides the foundation for a gradual transition to the cloud, and Red Hat’s KVM hypervisor integrates virtualization directly into the Linux kernel. As a result, virtual environ- ments now automatically inherit the advanced capabilities of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This approach has helped IBM and Red Hat rapidly deliver leadership in performance, scalability, manageability, and security in virtualized environments. Development is greatly simplified, as engineering teams no longer have to focus on bare-metal, virtualization, and cloud as three dis- tinct operating environments. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization offers enterprises the ideal platform for large-scale virtual- ization initiatives and internal/private cloud deployments. KVM has achieved record-setting virtualization benchmark results as well as unmatched consolidation ratios. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization enables organizations to centrally and effectively manage their entire virtual envi- ronment, including virtual datacenters, clusters, hosts, guest virtual servers, networking, and storage. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is also fully featured, with high availability, live migra- tion, policy-based workload balancing, image management, snapshots, and thin provisioning. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers includes the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager, a feature-rich server-virtualization management system and the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization hypervisor, and supports server operating systems as virtual guests. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops is available as an add-on, and provides support for desk- top operating systems as virtual guests as well as support for desktop management functional- ity. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization has been engineered to support the most demanding IT infrastructures, with guest operating system support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux guests (32- bit and 64-bit) and for Microsoft Windows guests (32-bit and 64-bit), complete with paravirtual- ized network and block drivers. 3
  4. 4. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 on IBM System X KVM’s open source momentum Red Hat and IBM understand that the growth of an open virtualization ecosystem requires more than just a hypervisor. Any solution must provide a feature-rich management platform, well- defined APIs throughout the stack, an active and open development community, and third-party products that extend the hypervisor. To satisfy this need, KVM and oVirt technologies are enjoy- ing growing industry support through the Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA) and the oVirt com- munity project. The OVA is driven by leading virtualization, datacenter, and cloud solution providers that are focused on driving awareness and adoption of KVM solutions. Fostering interoperability and a thriving ecosystem of third-party solutions around KVM is a primary focus for the OVA, while oVirt services the extended technical community around KVM management. A distinct value advantage Many proprietary virtualization solutions represent the profit centers for their respective own- ers, resulting in significant expenses to customers in the form of license fees that only grow as virtualization technology is scaled out. In contrast, Red Hat’s subscription model allows organi- zations to deploy enterprise-grade virtualization technology at a fraction of the cost of propri- etary competitors, while also avoiding vendor lock-in. IBM System x for Breakthrough Virtualization agility The long and deep collaboration between IBM and Red Hat means that the benefits of a joint solution go well beyond those of typical open source distributions. Both companies use each other’s technology extensively, with Red Hat running on IBM and IBM running on Red Hat. For instance, the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise utilizes Red Hat Enterprise Linux with KVM on over 1,000 physical hosts, 6,000 virtual machines, across eight datacenters, all running on IBM System x iDataPlex servers. The benefits of a strong collaboration: IBM and focused KVM development IBM has a large development effort dedicated to KVM and has been actively contributing key KVM features since 2007. More than 60 IBM programmers work on KVM as a part of the com- munity and collaborate with Red Hat in key areas such as engineering, performance, test, valida- tion, support, and consulting. Beyond merely contributing to the community, IBM focuses on key development priorities for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, including: •  Performance and scalability through support for large memory and faster virtualized I/O with SR-IOV •  Security and reliability, such as MAC-level security with SELinux and common criteria certifi- cation with EAL4+ •  Cloud optimization, including high density of virtual machines and automated provisioning and migration 4
  5. 5. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 on IBM System X IBM System x: X-Architecture® tuned for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Another result of IBM and Red Hat’s close partnership is that IBM System x is designed to run Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, offering better performance and scalability. For example, unique IBM eX5 models have been tuned to deliver key characteristics and functionality that can deliver virtualization advantages, including: •  Optimized server performance through unmatched memory management •  Dramatically faster I/O with greater storage density and improved reliability •  Industry-leading scalability through pay-as-you-grow capability •  Superior asset utilization and workload management These advantages translate directly into better virtualization performance. As shown in Figure 2, an IBM x3850 X5 server delivered 18% better virtual machine consolidation performance as compared to an HP DL580 G7 server in the SPECvirt_sc2010 benchmark (40 processor cores @ 2.4 GHz). 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 HP DL580-G7 IBM X3850 X5 Figure 2. IBM System x is optimized with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization to deliver better performance and scalability as shown by the SPECvirt_sc2010 benchmark. These results are remarkable in that they demonstrate that IBM can derive greater performance through better system design, even with systems that use the same industry standard compo- nents as competitors. As measured by the SPECvirt_sc2010 benchmark, better virtual machine consolidation essentially implies that organizations can: •  Consolidate more workloads per virtualized server •  Attain unmatched scalability and performance •  Reduce the overall cost of managing workloads 5
  6. 6. Conclusion Enterprise IT organizations are challenged to provide rapidly increasing IT capability while con- taining or reducing total costs. The strong collaboration between IBM and Red Hat means that organizations can deliver enterprise-ready virtualization solutions while realizing real benefits in terms of value, performance, scalability, security, and manageability. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 represents a strategic and cost-effective alternative to tra- ditional virtualization solutions that lock organizations into proprietary virtualization and cloud stacks. Deploying Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 on IBM System x yields unparalleled vir- tualization agility. Disclosure SPEC™, SPECvirt™, and SPECvirt_sc are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC). Competitive numbers shown reflect results pub- lished on as of Jan. 1, 2012. For more information To learn more about how Red Hat and IBM can help optimize your IT infrastructure, contact your local salesperson or visit or For a free, fully supported, 60-day trial of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0, visit: For more information on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, visit: For more information on IBM System x and BladeCenter with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, visit: For more information on the Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA), visit: For more information on the oVirt project, visit: ovirt.orgSALES AND INQUIRIES NORTH AMERICA  EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST   ASIA PACIFIC  LATIN AMERICA 1–888–REDHAT1 AND AFRICA +65 6490 4200 +54 11 4329 7300 00800 7334 2835 Copyright © 2012 Red Hat, Inc. Red Hat, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the Shadowman logo, JBoss, MetaMatrix, and RHCE are trademarks of #8854827_0212 Red Hat, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries. XSS03097-USEN-00