Friday, September 04, 2009

RHEV - The RedHat failure not soon to be forgotten

Lets take a moment to look at Open Source Virtualization, there's Xen, OpenVZ, UML, KVM, and VirtualBox. Now for the datacenter you're really only looking at Xen or KVM (though OpenVZ seems to have a little bit of a following in the datacenter, its not an "Enterprise" offering from the big companies). Xen is on its way out, lets be honest, it has moved further away from the upstream
kernel as time goes on and Citrix is Microsoft friendly so people will embrace the FUD. What's left? Oh, KVM.

KVM is a really cool concept, I'm a big fan of turning the linux kernel into a hypervisor. That's just a really cool idea and has apparently proven itself to be quite useful and in some reports it is claimed to be faster than Xen so all the better. RedHat buys Qumranet, good move, now what? Lets write an Open Source Virtualization Suite that rivals the likes of VMWare ESX/ESXi + vSphere such that everyone in the world can enjoy the benefits of virtualization without being bound to closed source software from companies like VMWare. Again, good move. So what next? Lets force our Open Source faithful as well as all our customers to run a Windows box in order to use this pleasant administrative interface that front ends our completely Open Source Virtualization Environment. Wait ... what? You're kidding right? Nope.

So the office where I work has a site license for RHEL, lets just say that we weren't a mixed OS environment which would be completely feasible seeing that we have a site license. So you're trying to tell me that my CIO cut a FAT check to your company for a site license of an Operating System (as well as a nice repository full of software) and now I have to go elsewhere for another Operating System (that is closed source no less) in order to run your next generation Virtualization Suite? Kiss my ass.

If I were to roll out Open Source Virtualization tomorrow on RHEL, it would be RHEL 5.4 KVM + Convirture[0] not RHEV because I don't have a Windows box in sight.

I've heard rumors floating around that the plan was "get to market fast, port to Java later for cross platform". That's awesome, but in the mean time you're pissing people off and last time I checked its not good to make those who pay your bills angry. I'm not giving up on RedHat, I still really respect them as a company in many many ways (many thanks for all the sponsoring of Fedora!) but I feel like they really dropped the ball on this one, come on guys:

"We will be the leader in Open Source Virtualization" -
Brian Stevens (CTO & VP, Engineering)

Yes, you will but you need to work on moving the management end to an Open Source platform so your statement doesn't seem loaded.