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Red Hat [NYSE:RHT], makers of open-source software, has entrenched itself a little deeper into the virtualization market today by purchasing a company called Qumranet, the Israeli-based firm that developed open-source kernel-based virtual computing. The deal cost $107 million USD, according to PC World.

So what is virtualization, anyway? Virtualization is a process in which a computer can run one several operating systems simultaneously, without the need for one to be embedded in another. Qumranet's KVM system is a modification of a standard Linux kernel that enables several systems to run directly on the computer's hardware. That kind of functionality is called "bare metal" hypervisor virtualization.

Running several operating systems of one piece of computer hardware can create the potential for a lot of interference and error, so running a hypervisor system allows several environments — sometimes different operating systems, sometimes different instances of the same system — to coexist without conflict.

Red Hat will be keeping all of Qumvaret's employees after the acquisition is complete.