Linux vendor Red Hat has updated its enterprise Linux version with features for big servers and some green improvements. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 includes virtualisation support for bigger systems and more memory architectures.
The new version supports up to 64 CPUs and 512GB of memory, and can virtualise across non-uniform memory access (NUMA) systems. It also has new drivers to improve support for x86/64, Itanium, IBM Power and IBM System Z.
Linux vendors are addressing the issues of energy efficiency and virtualisation, in parallel, in their community ("free") releases and commercial supported software. Red Hat updates its enterprise version twice a year, and recently delivered Fedora 9 for the free community.
Novell recently previewed version 11 of its Suse Linux Enterprise Server, and delivered a second service pack to version 10 of the operating system this week. This, like Red Hat's new version, tweaks virtualisation and hardware support.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 has green improvements that should reduce power consumption. It supports CPU frequency scaling in virtualised environments, and includes support for Intel's Dynamic Acceleration Technology, which can idle or, as Red Hat describes it, "quiesce" CPU cores. The system can also overclock busy cores to get more work out of them within safe thermal levels, Red Hat said.
On the desktop, it has better support for laptop hibernation and updated versions of OpenOffice (2.3) and Firefox (3).
"Today's availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2, with its many technology enhancements, re-emphasises the value that we offer to customers through our subscription model," said Scott Crenshaw, vice president, Enterprise Linux Business at Red Hat. "These new capabilities should allow managers to extract more value out of their IT budget."
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 is available automatically to customers with a Red Hat Network subscription.