Red Hat revealed a future feature of KVM and Red Hat Enterprise Linux at VMworld 2011 that will allow native non-virtualized applications to run alongside virtual machines and virtual desktops on a host. Called Hybrid Mode, it will eliminate latency issues associated with running workloads inside virtual machines, while still delivering the consolidation and management benefits of virtualization, said Navin Thadani, senior director of Red Hat’s virtualization business.
Virtual machine performance has continued to improve, and more companies are virtualizing tier-one applications. Even so, workloads that require low latency, such as a bank’s financial-trading applications, still have performance issues in a virtual infrastructure.
With Hybrid Mode, you can have bare-metal performance with a native Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) application on a host that also runs virtual machines and virtual desktops – all of which can be managed through the RHEL interface. At the same time, you can still improve consolidation ratios by sticking workloads normally reserved for physical servers on virtual hosts.
That said, there are some caveats. You will need to use common sense when placing performance-intensive applications on a server with other virtual machines. If the server’s resources are taxed, obviously the workloads will suffer. Also the application is native to RHEL, so it doesn’t have the advantages of virtualization, such as live migration.
Red Hat users shouldn’t get too excited about Hybrid Mode, which will not ship with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 this year.