Final release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 released

The current version is suitable for bare-metal systems, virtual machines as well as private and public cloud environments. It should work up to 25 percent faster than the previous version 6. Relevant innovations include support for Docker containers, enhanced Windows interoperability and simplified management.

After a six-month beta phase, Red Hat has now released the final version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (RHEL 7) published . The Enterprise Operating System can be deployed on four platforms: bare metal servers, virtual machines (VM), OpenStack-based infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and platform-as-a-service (PaaS ). Overall, it can create a powerful data center and cloud environment for businesses. According to Red Hat, RHEL 7 works 11 to 25 percent faster than its predecessor RHEL 6, depending on its workload.

“Where the worlds of physical, virtual and cloud systems converge, Red Hat provides a powerful open-hybrid platform that gives ISVs and applications a consistent runtime environment for bare-metal systems, virtual machines, public and private clouds “Commented Paul Cormier, President of Products and Technologies at Red Hat. “This is essential when migrating applications from on-premise environments to the cloud.”

Some observers had already anticipated the release of the final at this year’s Red Hat Summit in April. But already at the launch of Beta in December, Red Hat had called the new RHEL version as the most ambitious release so far. It will, among other things, optimize and automate the installation and deployment of software, simplify administration and increase reliability at the same time.

Key features include enhanced Windows interoperability, including integration with Active Directory domains. Other important enhancements include improvements to the file system (standard XFS), optimized subsystem management using OpenLMI, migration of virtual machines (VMs) from RHEL-6 hosts to RHEL-7 hosts in real-time without downtime or VM modifications, and Linux containerization. Support (including Docker ).

As already announced a year ago , MariaDB replaces the meanwhile belonging to Oracle database management system MySQL. With this, RHEL is following the community distributions OpenSUSE and Fedora, which have already made the change earlier. MariaDB and MySQL are highly compatible and support, for example, library binaries as well as usable commands and programming interfaces (APIs).

Like RHEL 6.5 beforeRHEL 7 also provides support for container solutions such as Docker, which simplifies the operation of applications. System resources can be distributed among the respective containers, so that each application receives only the required resources and is isolated from other applications, which in turn increases security. Thus, it is a lightweight alternative to conventional virtualization solutions such as Linux ‘own Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM). In addition, Docker 1.0 allows applications to run independently of each other and the underlying operating system. This means that users can migrate the Docker apps from a container on a bare-metal system to a virtual machine or to the cloud as needed.

In addition, the file systems Ext4 and Btrfs have been extended. New is the support for XFS as a standard file system, which allows scaling up to 500 TB. Ext4 is now compatible with stand-alone file system sizes of 16 to 50 TB and block sizes of 1 MB, which among other things reduces fragmentation. Btrfs is a Technology Preview that includes built-in Basic Volume Management, snapshot support, and checksum support to ensure the integrity of data and metadata.

Network-intensive applications benefit from support for 40 Gigabit Ethernet. RHEL 7 also supports very large storage configurations, including enterprise storage arrays and Red Hat’s in-house storage servers. Managing heterogeneous storage environments has also been simplified.

Samba 4.1 enables system administrators to integrate users and resources with Windows Active Directory domains when running RHEL 7 and Microsoft Windows Server in parallel. Alternatively, RHEL Identity Management can also be used parallel to Active Directory.

Homogeneous network, storage, file system, performance, identity, and security management tools are also designed to simplify configuration and administration. To do this, RHEL 7 relies on the relatively recent OpenGL system management solution , which automates the management of multiple systems using scripting and programming interfaces (APIs). Unlike DevOps programs such as Chef and Puppet , which target cloud deployment, OpenLMI is used to set up and manage subsystems or bare-metal and virtual-production servers. In addition, RedHat, like other Linux distributions (SuSE, Debian and Ubuntu), has been using systemd recentlyas an init system for the management of processes, services, security configurations and other resources. Performance Co-Pilot , a collection of frameworks and services, enables real-time recording and monitoring of system performance by administrators or subsystems such as systemd.

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