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KVM — an open virtualization alternative, a smarter choice


IBM Investment in KVM

IBM has dedicated its expertise and longstanding commitment to enterprise virtualization and open source, to open virtualization with KVM. IBM is active with KVM in many different ways.


IBM Contributions to KVM Development

Today, over 60 IBM programmers are working on KVM development as part of the KVM, QEMU and libvirt open source communities – which is one of the largest teams in the industry. Key areas of IBM KVM development include:

IBM's contribution's to the KVM hypervisor are consistent with its decade-plus Linux mission and fulfill a broad strategy of providing customer choice, bringing open technology to vital segments of the technology market, and ensuring that all IBM platforms, middleware, and services have the best and most timely hypervisor technology available.


KVM on IBM Systems

As you can see, IBM is a major contributor to KVM, and in three of these areas - Performance and Scalability, Security and Reliability, and Cloud Optimization - there’s an especially strong synergy between KVM and IBM System x:

IBM zEnterprise is a system of heterogeneous systems consisting of

The zBX System x Blades run the KVM hypervisor with support for both Linux (RHEL, SLES) and Windows Server guests.

The core of the IBM zEnterprise is the zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager which provides systems management across heterogeneous resources. It provides a single point of control across IBM System z, IBM Power Systems, IBM System x, Storage and Network resources, thereby reducing the required skills and the complexity of day to day operations in data centers. The KVM hypervisor in the zBX System x Blades is managed by the URM as firmware - enabling greater control and security. The hypervisor has also been enhanced with System z-like service and support management providing automatic problem detection and report to IBM (call home support).


Virtualization Management

The management of virtual machines (i.e. virtualization management) is key to achieving the benefits of virtualization. There are several virtualization tools available today that support KVM:

IBM SmartCloud Provisioning allows quick cloud deployment and features automated provisioning, parallel scalability and integrated fault tolerance to increase operational efficiency and respond to user needs. A true IaaS solution, IBM SmartCloud Provisioning, reduces costs and offers near-zero downtime and automated recovery.

IBM Systems Director VMControl simplifies the management of virtual environments across multiple virtualization technologies and hardware platforms, freeing you from ‘silos of virtualization’ and delivering enterprise-wide visibility and control. VMControl is a leading multi-platform virtualization management solution that is included with IBM Systems Director Editions, or available separately as a plug-in option for IBM Systems Director

IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager enables users to request, deploy, monitor and manage cloud computing services. It also provides traceable approvals and processes. IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager helps lower cost of service delivery through automation and reduced skill requirements, and helps deploysIT services faster to meet the increased need for development, test, preproduction and production systems.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is a complete virtualization management solution for server and desktop virtualization and the first enterprise-ready, fully open-source virtualization platform. RHEV builds on the powerful Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor and the oVirt open virtualization management platform. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers, includes the RHEV Manager management system and the RHEV Hypervisor, and supports server operating systems as virtual guests.

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    New IDC white paper discussing the state of open virtualization and key opportunities for the KVM hypervisor

  • Latest KVM Performance Benchmarks

    KVM is scalable and high performance, delivering the top four SPECvirt_sc2013 results

What are the benefits of KVM?

  • Lower cost
    39 percent cheaper over a three-year TCO
  • Better performance
    94 percent better virtual machine consolidation
  • Hardened security
    Built in hardened security with SE Linux

IBM Software Group supports KVM

SWG supports KVM as a tier 1 virtualization technology. SWG products that support KVM include, but are not limited to: