Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7 beta is now available

The last RHEL 7 version is on its way out the door for enterprise Linux users.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Brave Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) users are already moving to RHEL 8. More cautious users are sticking with RHEL 7. But with this beta for the final release of the RHEL 7 family, the end of the RHEL 7 family is in sight.

Don't worry, be happy. With its 10-year lifecycle, you'll be running RHEL 7 until 2024. That said, moving ahead future RHEL 7 releases will emphasize production stability, rather than introducing new features.

That's actually already the case with this release. The biggest updates are support for the latest generation of enterprise hardware and remediation for the recently disclosed ZombieLoad vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, RHEL can't do anything about the underlying Intel chip problems. That means your processors will still run slower on many jobs.

It also includes network stack performance enhancements. With this release, you can also offload virtual switching operations to network interface card (NIC) hardware. What that means for you is, if you're using virtual switching and network function virtualization (NFV), you'll see better network performance on cloud and container platforms such as Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat OpenShift.

RHEL 7.7 beta users will also get access to Red Hat's new predictive problem shooter: Red Hat Insights. This uses a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based predictive analytics approach to spot, assess, and mitigate potential problems to their systems before they can cause trouble.

Finally, Red Hat Image Builder is now supported. This feature, which was just made available in RHEL 8, enables you to easily create custom RHEL system images for cloud and virtualization platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), VMware vSphere, and OpenStack.

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