Red Hat has rivals VMware and Sun Microsystems in its sights with its new open source virtualisation products. Enterprise Linux, Virtualisation Manager for Servers and Virtualisation Manager for Desktops are aimed at taking on the established regional players.
But Sun Microsystems New Zealand country manager, John Mazenier, says he is not concerned by Red Hat’s venture into virtualisation. “Competition is healthy because you’ve got to up your game and be better than the last guy.”
Mazenier says virtualisation is mature and VMware has been around for some time. “We’ve done numerous roadshows around virtualisation and so have HP, Microsoft, etc. So another player in the market is a bit of ‘me too’. Open source virtualisation isn’t necessarily new, although it might be new for Red Hat,” he says.
Red Hat Australia/New Zealand managing director Max McLaren says although VMware has been the internationally dominant player for x86 server virtualisation for the past couple of years, they are challenged by having a separate hypervisor and operating system. “They can’t optimise the way the technology is used in the box if it’s a separate hypervisor. If it’s part of the kernel and a bare metal hypervisor, then it interfaces directly with the resources of the technology.”
McLaren says Red Hat partners will benefit from the new products, due to recent joint efforts with Microsoft. “This complements our recent announcement with Microsoft, where they’re going to cross-certify for Red Hat and vice versa. Not only can you run Linux, you can run Microsoft and that’s very exciting to our partners in Australia and New Zealand.
Many of Red Hat’s partners have customers interested in virtualising Windows, but until now they have had relatively limited real virtualisation options, says McLaren.
He says Red Hat’s recently launched products will be of benefit to organisations considering virtualisation. “In the past you’ve had to buy virtualisation as an additional solution. It has limited you in terms of scalability, so you’ve only been able to address a number of servers. It has compromised you in terms of applications you wanted to virtualise like databases,” he says.
McLaren says Red Hat is hoping to break down those challenges for enterprises.