Red Hat has decided that being big business's Linux of choice isn't good enough. The Raleigh, NC-based tech giant wants to be the enterprise's first pick operating system for running containers as well.
The company has been making this clear with its Docker partnership to create a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)/Docker software stack. Now, this, and related Red Hat container development efforts, such as Atomic Host, are well on their way into making it into the RHEL core operating system.
Specifically, the beta provides improvements to the platform's underlying container support infrastructure. These include OverlayFS and user namespaces enhancements. Atomic Host updates come out on a rapid 6-week sprint cycle. These, therefore, are not available in the beta.
This in no way means that Red Hat is neglecting the rest of its Linux.
With the beta, Red Hat includes a number of new features and enhancements.
These include several new and enhanced security capabilities. The introduction of a new Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) module in the installer (anaconda) enables customers to apply SCAP-based security profiles during installation.
Another new capability allows for the binding of data to local networks. This allows enterprises to encrypt systems at scale with centralized management. In addition, RHEL 7.2 beta introduces support for DNS Security Extensions.(DNSSEC) for DNS zones managed by Identity Management (IdM) as well as federated identities. This allows users to access resources using a single set of digital credentials.
Given the complexity required to the modern datacenter, the beta release of RHEL 7.2 includes new and improved tools to facilitate a more streamlined system administration experience. These new features and enhancements include:
- Better processor allocation for tasks that require dedicated processor time. Modern systems have multiple processors and certain demanding workloads typically prioritize a dedicated processor at all times rather than efficiently sharing processor time with other applications and services. The introduction of on-demand vmstat workers in the kernel helps achieve more efficient CPU sharing and resource balancing.
- The ability to remotely manage local disk data security based on network identity, making the task easier and more secure.
- Enhancements to the storage management API (libStorageMgmt) now provide a vendor agnostic mechanism to query disk health and RAID configuration management.
- The introduction of conntrack-tools for better network connection tracking
- Enhancements to NetworkManager, facilitating better integration with external programs
- A new web-based user interface for Performance Co-Pilot, aiding in the management and analysis of network and system performance
- New tooling that aids in diagnostics and allows system administrators to easily gather key I/O metrics for device mapper devices.
Red Hat is also refreshing the RHEL desktop. This version is using the GNOME 3.14 desktop and its associated software.
Sound interesting? If you're an existing Red Hat customer, you can take RHEL 7.2 beta for a spin via the Red Hat Customer Portal.