Coming on the heels of the news that Red Hat is acquiring Gluster, a cloud-storage software company, it should come as no surprise that it will offer improved cloud deployment support. Of course, there's a lot more here than just better cloud support.
While I don't see any standout new features, I do see a lot of small overall improvements that will many any RHEL administrator happy. These include:
Performance and Scaling
- Kernel-level optimizations implemented in the process scheduler, networking, virtualization, and I/O subsystems.
- Faster creation of ext4 file systems and improved response times in XFS for certain workloads.
- Improved CPU controller scalability and enhanced resource management features to set processor utilization ceilings.
- Centralized identity management for the flexible management of users, roles, policies, and authentication services.
- New capabilities for the unification of Kerberos ticketing, DNS naming, user and group ids, and Linux systems policies into a single service.
- Support for RHEL 6 guests on VMware hosts and comprehensive support for the GFS2 (Global File System) shared storage file system have been added to the High Availability Add-on Product, creating a more tightly integrated environment.
- Full support for the UDP-unicast protocol which reduces administration overhead,resulting in easier cluster deployment.
Advanced Storage & Networking
- World Wide Name (WWN) or World Wide Identifier (WWID), for storage devices making it easier to identify them during installation for users utilizing Storage Area Networks (SAN) and other advanced network topologies.
- Transmit Packet Steering (XPS) capabilities which improve network packet transmission throughput by 30%.
Taken as a whole it's a pretty impressive list of improvements. If you're already a Red Hat Network (RHN) you can download the RHEL 6.3 beta and start testing in now. In addition, if you're not a RHEL user, you can still download a copy of the beta for a 30-day evaluation.
Give it a try. Whether you run Linux on a stand-alone server, in a cluster, or in a cloud, RHEL's an impressive operating system.