Based on Fedora 19 and the upstream Linux 3.10 kernel, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 will provide users with new capabilities that streamline and automate installation and deployment, simplify management, and enhance ease-of-use. The Linux software vendor states that RHEL7 is Red Hat’s most ambitious release to date.
The beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 would add value to new and existing IT projects across industries by adding key capabilities to improve critical but often cumbersome IT tasks like virtualization and storage while offering a clear pathway to the open hybrid cloud.
Key features (new and enhanced) of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta include:
- Linux Containers – Applications can be created and deployed in isolated environments using Linux Container technology, such as Docker. System resources can be partitioned to each application container, providing each application with the appropriate resources and security isolation that they require – a key capability for enterprises seeking more agility and scalability within their infrastructure.
- Performance Management – The new release helps customers optimize system performance out-of-the-box while helping reduce performance-related IT costs. In addition, users have the option to select the appropriate performance profile for their application that helps them to achieve optimal application results.
- Physical and Hosted In-place Upgrades – The in-place upgrade feature for common server deployment types will allow data centers to migrate existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 systems to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Additionally, the new release enables virtual machine migration from a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 host to a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 host without virtual machine modification or downtime.
- File Systems – File systems continue to be a major focus of development and innovation for Red Hat, with enhancements to the ext4 and btrfs file systems. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 includes XFS as the default file system, scaled to support file systems up to 500 TB. The ext4 file system adds scalability enhancements to increase the maximum standalone file system size from 16 TB to 50 TB, and gains support for block sizes of up to 1MB, considerably decreasing the time spent doing block allocation and reducing fragmentation. Btrfs, an emerging file system, is available as a technology preview within Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and includes integrated basic volume management, snapshot support, and checksum capability to validate full data and metadata integrity.
- Networking – Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 enhances networking configuration and operation and adds support for some of the latest networking standards. Performance improvements are delivered for network intensive applications with the availability of 40Gb Ethernet support, improved channel bonding, TCP performance improvements and low latency socket poll support.
- Storage – Storage receives significant updates within the new release with support of very large scale storage configurations, including support for enterprise storage arrays. For more price-sensitive deployments, enhancements to Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s scalable storage stack provide an alternative to expensive storage arrays. New capabilities in storage management simplify the management of heterogeneous storage environments.
- Windows Interoperability – For datacenters where co-existence of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Microsoft Windows ServerTM is a requirement, interoperability capabilities have been expanded within Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Specifically, IT professionals can bridge Windows and Linux infrastructure by integrating Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 systems and SAMBA 4.1 with existing Microsoft Active Directory domains. Additionally, staff can choose to deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux Identity Management in a parallel trust zone with Active Directory, allowing customers to leverage the investments they have already made.
- Subsystem Management – The new release would also simplify configuration and administration with uniform management tools for networking, storage, file systems, performance, identities and security. It does this by delivering a Linux management framework that also interfaces to popular system management frameworks via OpenLMI. Through OpenLMI, system administrators can use scripting and APIs to automate management across multiple systems.