Red Hat Enterprise Linux Virtual Machines: Access to Random Numbers Made Easy

Having access to quality random numbers is essential for correct and secure operation of operating systems. Operating systems need random numbers from an entropy pool for a variety of tasks, like creating secure SSH or GPG/PGP keypairs, generating random PIDs for processes, generating TCP sequence numbers, and generating UUIDs.

With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 we introduced the virtio RNG (Random Number Generator) device that provides KVM virtual machines access to entropy from the host machine.  Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization starting version 3.5 also has exposed this feature.  We have since made improvements to Red Hat Enterprise Linux guests to make the feature easier and more straightforward to use.

A Brief Introduction to virtio and Paravirtualized Devices

virtio is the paravirtualized transport framework for KVM virtual machines. Using the virtio framework, new devices can be

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KVM Virtualization: Refining the Virtual World with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta

Ever since Red Hat Enterprise Linux added KVM Virtualization as a kernel-based hypervisor to run virtual machines (way back in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4), the operating system took on a dual personality.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux became both a Virtualization host for high density virtual data centers / cloud service platforms, and a guest operating system running on third party hypervisors such as VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. As the topic is sufficiently broad, I plan to split my discussion of virtualization into two posts.

Today’s post will discuss Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta as a hypervisor using KVM Virtualization technology and it will highlight a few key enhancements that make Red Hat Enterprise Linux the operating system of choice for modern hybrid data centers. While the features that I will review are inherently those that I find to be the most exciting (note: I’m hoping you will find them to be exciting and useful as well), a complete list is available in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta release notes.

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