Red Hat combines desktop and server virtualisation

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Red Hat combines desktop and server virtualisation

Enterprise Virtualisation 2.2 released.

Red Hat has released a new version of its Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation that integrates desktop and server virtualisation into a single platform, simplifying the management of virtual infrastructures in a single end-to-end solution, according to the firm.

Announced at the Red Hat Summit in Boston and available immediately, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation 2.2 builds on last year's release, which provided support for virtualising Windows and Linux servers across a Red Hat cloud infrastructure.

The new version adds features needed to support Windows and Linux virtual clients within the same infrastructure, such as a connection broker to link users with their virtual machine at log-in, and a remote screen protocol to provide access to the user's desktop.

Red Hat said the move will help more customers to break down the barriers to virtualisation adoption, although it is effectively only bringing the firm's virtualisation portfolio in line with the capabilities already offered by rivals such as VMware and Microsoft.

"As enterprises look to move beyond initial server consolidation to a more pervasive datacentre-wide virtualisation strategy, they are looking to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation to provide leading scalability and economics," said Navin Thadani, senior director of Red Hat's virtualisation business.

The chief feature supporting client virtualisation is the Spice remote rendering technology, which Red Hat gained via the acquisition of Qumranet last year and subsequently made open source.

This has been designed to provide a rich multimedia experience for the user over a remote connection, supporting multiple monitors, HD-quality video and b i-directional audio/video for video conferences, according to Red Hat.

Support is also provided for creating new virtual clients from templates, thin provisioning and desktop pooling, whereby users are allocated a virtual machine at log-in from a pool of existing ones, rather then creating a new one each time.

Other improvements in the Enterprise Virtualisation 2.2 release address scalability, enabling guest virtual machines to have up to 16 virtual processors and up to 256GB of memory, while Red Hat also now includes a tool to convert existing VMware or Xen virtual machines to run on this platform.

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