Category: Virtualization Technologies
Red Hat and IBM announced that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 with the KVM hypervisor, run on IBM Systems has been awarded Common Criteria Certification at Evaluation Assurance Level 4+. The Common Criteria is an internationally recognized set of standards used by the U.S. government, other organizations and businesses to assess the security and assurance of technology products. This security certification is the first of its kind for an open source virtualization solution.
The certification means that KVM hypervisor on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and IBM x86 servers has met U.S. federal government security standards allowing open virtualization to be used in Homeland Security projects, command-and-control operations, and throughout government agencies. The U.S. governmental bodies were previously limited to proprietary virtualization technologies.
Open virtualization offers organizations, including government agencies and financial businesses, the opportunity to reduce costs and increase choice with the enterprise-grade KVM hypervisor.
RHEL 5 features Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux), a project developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Red Hat. This Common Criteria certification allows for use of the RHEL 5 with the KVM hypervisor with confidence as they host many tenants on the same machine, while the virtual guests VM's will be fully separated from each other. The certification of KVM and RHEL 5 applies to IBM System x, BladeCenter and iDataPlex servers.
The hardware producer HP and the software company that offers world's leading OS virtualization solution - Parallels formed a partnership to work on HP’s Z800 virtualization capabilities. The companies said that workstation can be configured with Parallels’ Workstation 4.0 Extreme offering to offer high-end virtualization capabilities. Parallels’ virtualization solution takes advantage of virtualization technology of Intel’s new Xeon 5500 Series “Nehalem EP” processors, inside each HP Z800.
HP and Parallels made the announcement on June 1. They will include Nvidia’s SLI Multi-OS-enabled Quadro FX graphics cards. The Parallels CEO Serguei Beloussov said that the workstation that will be offered as a configure-to-order solution from HP, is a key step in bringing high-end virtualization capabilities to the workstation space.
“After several years of deep technical engineering collaboration by HP, Intel, Nvidia and Parallels, the vision of delivering virtual workstations to the market is now a reality,” Beloussov said in a statement.HP,
Virtualization technologies is one of the most pronounced mantras within the last couple of months. One of the reasons is that It companies expect virtualization technologies to boost their productivity and to cut their cost for hardware and system management.
"If you look at what demand is out there and the cost savings you can achieve with [virtualization], that speaks volumes. That's why it still gets the budget dollars approved for it," says Brian Gabrielson for Computerworld (article titiled "Top 5 Virtualization Skills Enterprises Want Now"). Robert is a regional vice president of Robert Half Technology, the IT-recruiting division of Robert Half International (RHI).
RHI predicted in their latest IT Hiring and Skills report that 8% of IT companies will hire additional staff during the 2nd quarter of 2009, while 6% expect to lay off employees because of their shrinking IT budgets.
According to Gary Federico, technical recruitment manager at Advizex Technologies, a company that implements VMware virtualization technologies "consolidation is a key component of almost everything that's going on". He adds that a lot of currently opened IT positions that aren't 'virtualization' positions, have virtualization as a big component as a part of the job.
The Computer World lists 5 virtualization skills, that according to the magazine enterprises need.
Even if "experience" is not a skill, in virtualization it is just not possible to build and manage solid virtual infrastructures without having been involved in practice before.
Another key skill for today's IT specialist is their ability to understand an existing IT infrastructure and to be able to transform it into a stable, efficient and flexible virtual infrastructure. Experts in virtualization technologies and architectures have to have a deep understanding of both "the virtualization technology and the IT that is already in place in order to avoid bottlenecks and inefficient load-balancing schemes", says Gary Federico. He also adds that they also need to make resource sharing as efficient as possible and avoid bogging down the network with the data moving among virtual machines, virtual storage and the real infrastructure underneath.
They way IT business organize and manage their storage systems is crusial for their business operations and there is not infrastructure model which can succeed while "gumming up the storage arrangements". Federico explains that "virtualizing storage (via storage area networks, primarily) should make the interface between virtual servers and virtual storage simpler, but idiosyncracies in one can cause major problems in the other".
Before the release of Microsoft's Hyper-V it was enough for any virtualization expert to have a experience with VMware's and Parallels product. The release of Microsoft's Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 however changed the market and now the virtualization technologies of VMware. Microsoft and Parallels will co-exist in data centers.
According to analysts to administrate virtual servers and virtualized infrastructures means more than just to make sure "the NICs don't fall out the back of the physical servers". The administrators of virtual servers and virtualized networks have to control server sprawl and must have good expertise in security, so they can keep the virtual servers safe even when "users or the app dev crew spawn off rogue VMs like butterflies in spring", suggests Computer World.