Red Hat today delivered an update to its Linux platforms that addresses everything from how packets are transferred across a network, to the way containers are managed, to the types of Internet of Things (IoT) devices that can be connected, to securing the overall IT environment.
On the networking front, version 7.3 of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) adds support for lightweight tunnels and the ability to offload processing of packets to various types of co-processors using an enhanced packet memory allocator that supports 40 to 100 Gb networking interfaces. In addition, support for parallel Network File System (pNFS) clients now makes it possible to directly mount shared external media and non-volatile memory devices.
On the container front, RHEL 7.3 provides enhanced management tools in the form of Atomic CLI/Cockpit and an updated container runtime using Docker Engine, as well as a new digital signing capability for containers that is available as a technology preview.
On the IoT front, Red Hat is adding an ability to connect to Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) devices as well as support in the kernel for the Controller Area Network bus (CANbus) protocol.
On the security front, RHEL 7.3 includes updates to SELinux, a mechanism for enforcing granular, system-level access control policies, enhancements to OpenSCAP, an open source implementation of the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) to simplify compliance, and a more robust identity management framework that supports smart card authentication with Active Directory along with support for more configurable authentication.
Finally, Red Hat is also making it possible to use a Pacemaker capability to manage multi-site and stretch clusters across geo-locations for disaster recovery and scalability.
Siddharth Nagar, product manager for RHEL, says all in all, Red Hat is aiming to provide IT organizations with a general-purpose platform that can be employed to support new emerging application workloads as well as existing legacy applications. That approach ultimately reduces the management overhead associated with supporting all those workloads.
Just as significantly, Nagar notes that as the density of data center environments increases, operating systems need to evolve to allow IT organizations to meet new use cases as well as evolving I/O requirements.
“Most organizations are at different stages of that IT journey,” says Nagar.
The issue that IT organizations have to come to terms with is just how much baggage they want to carry on that journey.