Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 became globally available on Wednesday, with the new enterprise OS featuring virtualisation improvements, support for Intel's Core i7 architecture and inclusion of the Open Java Development Kit from Sun.
When interviewed in October 2008, Red Hat global chief executive Jim Whitehurst said virtualisation was one of the company's key priorities. "Virtualisation should be part of the operating system, not a separate layer," he said at the time.
Virtualisation in RHEL 5.3 has been improved, including the ability to make larger virtualised machines — supporting up to 32 virtual CPUs and 80GB of RAM — in x86-64 environments. RHEL is currently used to run a number of large virtualisation instances, including Amazon's elastic computing cloud, known as EC2.
RHEL 5.3 also includes support for Intel's latest chip architecture, Core i7, code-named Nehalem. Released in August last year, Core i7 is the successor to Intel's Core 2 Duo architecture.
Finally, RHEL 5.3 includes the Open Java Development Kit, an open-source implementation of Java SE 6 supported by Sun. This inclusion is intended to support Red Hat's Java application server, JBoss.