IBM says that now is great time for KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) technology as a result of key contributions from its large developer community.
The KVM hypervisor is an open source virtualization technology and, increasingly, it is becoming an important tool in any Linux user's handbook, especially in light of OpenStack.
KVM is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V) and consisting of a loadable kernel module (kvm.ko) that provides the core virtualization infrastructure and a processor-specific module (kvm-intel.ko) or (kvm-amd.ko).
IBM says that hypervisors have had to better manage compute, network, and storage resources — and that this need that has been fulfilled by KVM.
The "potential" of KVM for enterprises is incredibly valuable far beyond its origins — just like Linux — asserts Jim Wasko in his role as director of IBM's Linux Technology Center.
"After a year of contributing patches to the KVM community, IBM is announcing that a Power Systems version of KVM, PowerKVM, will be available on IBM's next-generation Power Systems servers tuned for Linux before the end of the quarter," he said.
There are two reasons why IBM created a KVM product to exploit the Power Systems architecture — beyond its increasing deployment in the open source environment.
First, says Wasko, Linux users wanted a "familiar" look-and-feel for virtualization; and second, cloud solutions demand KVM's flexibility, performance, and OpenStack integration.
"We also recognize that for those who prefer to work in a pure Linux environment, working with KVM is highly desirable. Just like Linux, KVM for Power exploits the underlying hardware including multi-threading, large memory support, and a range of I/O. It also comes with Kimchi — a graphical open-source tool for easy virtualization management of simple configurations. Larger configurations such as clouds can be managed with OpenStack-based tools."