BOSTON: Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the next step in the integration of its enterprise-grade server and desktop virtualization portfolio with the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2. In addition to providing the first release of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops, the 2.2 update includes new scalability capabilities, migration tools and features to expand the performance and security of the solution.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.1, which introduced Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers, was released in November 2009. Designed as an ideal foundation for the virtualization of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Microsoft® Windows®, with Microsoft SVVP certification, as well as for cloud computing environments, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization has gained momentum with customers, including Fujitsu, IBM and NTT Communications, for their cloud deployments. Additional companies around the world, including Swedish-based Voddler and Sri Lanka-based Etisalat, have also adopted Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization as a strategic virtualization platform for their datacenters.

“As enterprises look to move beyond initial server consolidation to a more pervasive datacenter-wide virtualization strategy, they are looking to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization to provide leading scalability and economics,” said Navin Thadani, senior director, Virtualization Business at Red Hat. “Already experiencing traction with server and cloud deployments, the solution expands its reach today with the delivery of our desktop virtualization management capabilities to help more customers to break down the barriers to virtualization adoption.”

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2, capable of hosting and managing both Microsoft® Windows® and Linux virtual machines, provides a single infrastructure from which customers can manage their server and desktop virtualization deployments. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops, introduced in today’s 2.2 update, allows customers to deploy Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD) configurations, also known as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), bringing scalable, centralized provisioning and management of their desktop systems. It provides a web-based connection broker that allows end users to access their hosted virtual desktops, coupled with the open source SPICE remote rendering technology, which offers a rich multimedia experience, including multiple monitors, HD-quality video and bi-directional audio/video for video conferences. Other features, such as templating, thin provisioning and desktop pooling, are also included. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops supports Microsoft® Windows® XP, Windows® 7 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop.

“Devon IT has built its thin client hardware and software offerings around VDI, as advancements in connection broker and hypervisor technologies have given companies and organizations the power to save money, increase security and streamline desktop management with hosted client computing,” said Stephane Verdy, CTO of Devon IT. “We have worked with Red Hat to deliver its SPICE protocol to customers using our thin clients, and we are ecstatic that this industry leader will expand its Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization technologies at the user endpoint. We look forward to continuing collaboration with Red Hat to deliver the rich media, dual-DVI and video capabilities customers have come to expect with our thin client hardware and software products.”

“The ability to migrate, secure and manage end users via a single solution are key benefits of virtual desktop infrastructure, and Wyse supports the advancement of this effort with solutions such as Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization,” said Param Desai, director of Virtualization Solutions Product Management at Wyse Technology. “Wyse and its partners deliver industry-leading Desktop Virtualization and Cloud Client Computing solutions with advanced security, reliability and user experience features with low energy usage and total cost of ownership.”

With the 2.2 release, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization also features industry-leading scalability, supporting guests with up to 16 virtual CPUs and 256 gigabytes of memory per virtual machine. The release additionally provides new virtual machine conversion capabilities through a V2V tool designed to automate the conversion of VMware or Xen virtual machines for use within Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. To further simplify moving virtual machine images between environments, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 also includes the ability to import and export virtual machine images and templates with the Open Virtualization Format (OVF).

“With today’s announcement of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2, customers can utilize the Cisco Unified Computing System and the Virtual Interface Card to drive virtualization efficiency through Cisco’s extended memory and I/O virtualization technology,” said Ed Bugnion, vice president and chief technology officer for Cisco’s Server Access & Virtualization Business Unit. “We look forward to continued collaboration with Red Hat to offer our customers more choices, allowing them to take advantage of virtualization in their datacenter infrastructures.”

“Clients are trying to simplify their datacenter infrastructure by pooling virtualized assets that can be shared and managed across the organization,” said Jeff Carlat, director of Infrastructure Software and Blades Marketing at HP. “HP’s server, storage and networking portfolio along with Red Hat’s new software capabilities offer clients some of the industry’s best hardware, management and virtualization solutions to simplify their infrastructures.”

“This release of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is a major milestone toward establishing KVM as a world-class open source hypervisor,” said Bob Sutor, vice-president of Linux and Open Source at IBM. “The ability to combine Red Hat Enterprise Linux and virtualization technologies with IBM Lotus software creates a compelling way to build enterprise collaboration environments. Lotus Notes, Sametime and Symphony deliver tremendous productivity on the desktop, Lotus Connections and Quickr enhance interaction among networks of people, and LotusLive adds collaboration through the cloud, all implemented using a scalable, open architecture.”

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 is globally available today.

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