The good news is that Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 is almost here. That's also the bad news. I'd really expected to see the shipping version of RHEL 7, the best-selling enterprise Linux distribution of all, at the company's annual Red Hat Summit meeting this week in San Francisco. Alas, it was not to be.
In all fairness when Red Hat announced the RHEL 7 beta n December 2013, the company described it as the most ambitious release to date and a platform that represents the future of IT. More than just the next generation of enterprise Linux server RHEL 7 is designed to provide the underpinning for future application architectures while supporting deployments across bare metal systems, virtual machines (VM), and cloud infrastructure.
According to Red Hat, RHEL 7's key features include:
- Expanded Windows interoperability capabilities, including integration with Microsoft Active Directory domains.
- Significant file system enhancements, including making XFS as the default file system. This allows scaling to support file systems up to 500 TBs.
- Improved subsystem management through OpenLMI. This is a Red Hat-sponsored open source project. It's designed to provide a common infrastructure for multiple Linux systems management.
- Real-time VM migration from RHEL 6 hosts to RHEL 7 hosts without downtime or VM modification.
- Access to Docker container support with RHEL 7 RC, due to an expansion of the RHEL 7 High-Touch Beta program.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 RC is available immediately to the company's strategic partners, including OEM and ISV partners, to help them certify their applications and systems. During the week of April 21, 2014, the company will also make RHEL 7 RC available to anyone to try. A download link has yet to be provided.
As for RHEL 7's real, final release, well I missed my first guess. At this point, I'll just say I expect we'll see it some time in 2014's 3rd quarter.