Red Hat Pushes RHEL 7 into Beta

Mike Vizard
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Up-and-Coming Open Source Projects for the Enterprise

After years in the making, Red Hat announced today that version 7.0 of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is now in beta.

According to Ron Pacheco, senior manager of technology product management at Red Hat, this new release will be the foundation for building a modern operating system that is equal to or better than any other in the data center.

Based on the version 3.10 of the Linux kernel that Red Hat has already incorporated into the Red Hat Fedora Linux development project, the latest version of RHEL includes a new default XFS file system that scales to support access to up to 500TB. The maximum standalone file system size using extensions is now 50TB, and it supports block sizes of up to 1MB, which will reduce the time spent doing block allocation and reducing fragmentation.

From a networking perspective, RHEL 7 adds 40Gb Ethernet support, improved channel bonding, TCP performance improvements and low-latency socket poll support. Just as important for organizations deploying RHEL alongside Windows, RHEL 7 adds significantly improved interoperability with Microsoft Active Directory.

RHEL 7 also includes a new OpenLMI management framework, which administrators can use for scripting, and APIs to automate systems management.

Finally, RHEL 7 adds support for Linux Container technology, such as Docker, that allows system resources to be partitioned to a specific application container. IT organizations can then apply a performance profile to an application that can be used to achieve optimal application performance and security.

In a world where virtual machines deployed in cloud computing environments are almost the enterprise IT norm, Pacheco says that applications running on top of the Linux-based virtual machine (KVM) will not only run a lot faster because RHEL 7 has been optimized for non-uniform memory access (NUMA); the administration of the overall environment will be a lot smoother.

Much like Microsoft, Red Hat has been making a case for adopting KVM as a free alternative to VMware. As a foundational element of the Red Hat OpenShift platform as a service strategy for hybrid cloud computing, RHEL 7 represents a significant step forward for an open source community that prides itself on providing an enterprise-class experience at a much lower cost than rival proprietary platforms.

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