Red Hat on Thursday said it has begun its beta testing on its new Qumranet's KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) based hypervisor enterprise virtualization products, set to launch later this year.

It consists of a new standalone KVM hypervisor, RHEV-H and virtualization managers for servers and desktops. And bundles with Linux kernel 2.6.20 that provide better performance and scalability as it competes against rival companies such as VMware, XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-Virtualization.

We are in a unique position to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of virtualization solutions, ranging from a standalone hypervisor to a virtualized operating system to a comprehensive virtualization management product suite, Scott Crenshaw, vice president of Red Hat's platform business unit, said.

KVM is a technology that turns Linux in to a bare-metal hypervisor is an open source. Its management system is not at this time, said Red Hat Senior Director of Virtualization Business, Navin Thadani, but We will look toward open sourcing the management once we release a cross-platform version.

Meanwhile, the company said its current deployments of Xen based installations will be replaced to KVM, however it will continue to aid and provide support its customer through RHEL 5's entire lifecycle while looking to migrate its customers.

Recently, Red Hat acquired KVM vendor Qumranet in September 2008 for $107 million and announce its 2009 virtualization strategy and roadmap in February, which included plans to deliver the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization portfolio, featuring server, and client and management products.

Its KVM also supports the SELinux, security framework, and any hardware or application certified to run with RHEL and runs directly on x86-based host hardware, while Red hat is still building the hypervisor into Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) on version 5.4.