Keep Your Servers and Run Your Applications Forever with Red Hat Virtualization powered by KVM

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Overview

This article was written by myself and fellow colleague Götz Rieger. Often one of the most challenging problems we are facing today is both absorbing and leading change. Software defined-everything has taken over and is leveling the playing field, de-marginalizing staunch competitive advantages and nothing is safe anymore. Develop great applications and thrive or become irrelevant is the mantra facing many organizations. In such environments it is important to innovate constantly, delivering new capabilities at an ever increasing speed. In order to do so, new practices (DevOps), values (Agile) and of course technology (Containers) are being implemented.

Today it seems almost everyone is focused on “the new” software-defined whatever, when in reality change happens at different levels and different speeds. Gartner tried to summarize this with “mode 1 vs mode 2” but that trivializes things too far. It comes down to application lifecycles which dictates dependency on change.  What if certain software doesn’t need to change? What if it has a purpose and is already doing it’s job function? What if the software cannot be ported to a new operating platform? What do you do then? The answer surprisingly, is maybe nothing? Maybe we let those applications live well beyond their intended support lifecycles. Consider the old programs in the Matrix, some found a way to survive and were not killed. These were also some of the most important, powerful programs.

Virtualization has enabled us to let x86 platforms essentially run forever or at least well beyond their support lifecycles (hardware and software). If we consider outdated Cobol applications on UNIX or Windows platforms like NT, XP and 2003; they haven’t been supported for years. Applications running on these platforms might are not able to migrate for whatever reason, else they would have already done so. If we think about it, this is in fact a very valid use case for virtualization. There are of course other considerations that are important, like isolation (since these applications are not receiving patches) but assuming that is handled, why not? If it ain’t broken and doesn’t need to change, why fix it?

In this article we will look at how to run Windows NT Server (an operating system that hasn’t been supported since 2004) on KVM and Red Hat Virtualization powered by KVM.

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RHV 4.1 Lab Installation and Configuration Guide

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Overview

In this article we will setup a Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHV) environment. RHV is based on upstream opensource projects KVM and Ovirt. RHV is composed of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL which includes KVM) and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Management (RHV-M), based on Ovirt. As of this article the latest version is RHV 4.1.

RHV has of late become very interesting to customers looking for alternatives to VMware. Below are a few reasons why you should be interested in RHV:

  • 100% opensource no proprietary code and no proprietary licencing.
  • Best Hypervisor for running Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
  • Integrated and built with RHEL, uses SELinux to secure Hypervisor.
  • RHV leads VMware in SPECvirt performance and price per performance (last results 2013).
  • RHV scales vertically and performs extremely well on 4 or even 8 socket servers.
  • All features are included in RHV subscription, no licensing for extra capabilities.
  • KVM is future proof and is the defacto standard for OpenStack and modern virtualizations platforms.

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Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) – Hypervisor Host Options

Overview

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) has two options for running a hypervisor host: 1) use the RHEV-H host 2) use Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 or 7. Option 1 is similar to VMware ESXi, RHEV-H is an optimized OS for running Virtual Machines.  Option 2 allows you to configure a standard RHEL 6 or 7 host and add it to RHEV as a hypervisor. Continue reading

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Management (RHEV-M) – Overview, APIs and Code Examples

Overview

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization has two main components: RHEV-H and RHEV-M. In this post we will be focusing on RHEV-M which provides a REST API and various SDKs. By integrating with RHEV-M we can integrate a powerful set of virtualization APIs into any applications, processes or workflows. Continue reading