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Red Hat endorses KVM virtualization

The company's next Fedora Linux will include the new approach to carving Linux systems into multiple virtual machines.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Stephen Shankland
KVM, a new virtualization technology that lets Linux computers run multiple operating systems simultaneously, has won a significant endorsement from Red Hat.

Red Hat, the dominant Linux seller, will include KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) in the next version of its hobbyist Linux version, Fedora, Chief Technology Officer Brian Stevens said Tuesday. "We're packaging it for Fedora 7," Stevens said.

The endorsement comes on the heels of another significant KVM achievement that bodes well for its adoption: Linux leader Linus Torvalds accepted KVM into the main Linux source code tree in February, a move that makes maintenance and debugging easier and gives projects a higher profile.

Stevens also likes the technical approach that Moshe Bar, CTO of KVM backer Qumranet, took with KVM: "He absolutely nailed it," Stevens said.

However, Stevens said, KVM lags another open-source virtualization technology, Xen, which is the single biggest new feature in the company's upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. "There's a year of work, I'd guess, to really make it at parity where Xen is today," Stevens said.

Among Red Hatters working on KVM is Ingo Molnar, one of the company's top brainiacs. Molnar has been building paravirtualization abilities into KVM, which removes bottlenecks by letting virtual machines communicate more directly with computer hardware such as network cards and storage systems.

For example, in January, Molnar said paravirtualization increased KVM networking transfer rates from less than 10 megabytes per second to more than 300MBps.