Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is hanging a lot of its new hat product efforts on the red-hot virtualization and cloud computing sectors.

The world’s largest open-source Linux software developer and solutions provider said Monday it is expanding its virtualization capabilities and product offerings. The move follows an announcement last week in which the Hatters agreed to a mutual supporting effort with arch-rival Microsoft.

Red Hat executives , which enables devices to run more than one operating system. Cloud computing is technology that enables computers in different locations to be linked in real time to share resources.

The announcement and came on the eve of the VMWorld Europe trade show in France.

Over the next three to 18 months, Red Hat is planning offerings and support for its Enterprise Linux, a virtualization manager for servers, another manager for desktops and a so-called virtualization hypervisor for enterprise networks. A hypervisor, which also is called a virtual machine manager, is a program that allows multiple operating systems to share a single hardware host, according to the Web site .

Red Hat also is opening up its independent software vendor (ISV) development program for more virtualization projects.

"Red Hat’s broad ISV ecosystem is virtualization-ready, offering partners and customers the ability to deploy applications tested and certified to run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux in a virtualized environment with no additional testing necessary," a Red Hat spokesperson said.

More than 2,000 ISVs work with Red Hat.

"Applications that are certified to run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux in bare metal deployments are now able to be deployed in virtual environments," said Matt Mattox, director of ISV Alliances for Red Hat. "Our commitment to compatibility between conventional and virtual deployments for our 3,000-application-strong ISV ecosystem provides operational choice, flexibility and efficiency for our customers."

Red Hat recently expanded its entry into the virtualization space with the acquisition of Qumranet, a developer of several virtualization solutions.

The four primary offerings as spelled out by Red Hat are:

  • "Red Hat Enterprise Linux: Red Hat’s strategic direction for the future development of its virtualization product portfolio is based on KVM, making Red Hat the only virtualization vendor leveraging technology that is developed as part of the Linux operating system. Existing Xen-based deployments will continue to be supported for the full lifetime of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, and Red Hat will provide a variety of tools and services to enable customers to migrate from their Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Xen deployment to KVM.
  • "Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager for Servers: A new, richly featured virtualization management solution for servers that will be the first open source product in the industry to allow fully integrated management across virtual servers and virtual desktops, featuring Live Migration, High Availability, System Scheduler, Power Manager, Image manager, Snapshots, thin provisioning, monitoring and reporting. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager for Servers will be able to manage both Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 hosts, as well as the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor.
  • "Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager for Desktops: A new management system for virtual desktops that will deliver industry-leading VDI cost-performance for both Linux and Windows desktops, based on Qumranet’s SolidICE and using SPICE remote rendering technology.
  • "Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor: A new standalone hypervisor designed to be ideal for Red Hat’s partners and customers to lay down a standard, lightweight, high-performance virtualization foundation for guest environments."

Red Hat partners Intel, IBM, HP and others participated in the virtualization rollout.

"With Red Hat’s strategy and virtualization road map outlined today, Red Hat is uniquely positioned to extend the reach of virtualization with our complete virtualization solutions portfolio, combining our core operating system strength, next-generation virtualization technology and quality, scalable management tools," said Paul Cormier, executive vice president and president, products and technologies at Red Hat. "With this complete set of virtualization solutions, Red Hat is breaking through barriers to lift the limitations placed on virtualization and cloud computing for today’s enterprises."