RHEL 7.5, ​the latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, arrives

The most popular corporate enterprise Linux continues its drive to the cloud.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

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Red Hat has come a long way in 25 years. Now, the Linux company is continuing to drive forward both in the Linux server business and in the cloud with its latest distribution release: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.5.

The Raleigh, N.C.-based Red Hat emphasized in this release not the newest RHEL's Linux improvements, but rather, how RHEL can be used "as a consistent foundation for hybrid cloud environments ... [and] further integration with Microsoft Windows infrastructure both on-premise and in Microsoft Azure."

Read also: From Linux to cloud, why Red Hat matters for every enterprise

This is all part of Red Hat's continued migration from being a Linux operating system company to being a cloud company. Red Hat is also incorporating DevOps and container management as fast as it can into its cloud offerings. The biggest recent step toward this -- albeit, it doesn't show up in RHEL 7.5 yet -- was Red Hat's acquisition of CoreOS.

What you will find in RHEL 7.5 is a security automation -- by integrating OpenSCAP with Red Hat Ansible Automation. This enables the creation of Ansible Playbooks directly from OpenSCAP scans. These can then implement changes rapidly and consistently across a hybrid IT environment.

The new RHEL will also work better with Windows Server and Microsoft Azure. This includes improved management and communication with Windows Server, more secure data transfers with Azure, and performance improvements when used within Active Directory architectures. Overall, if you want to use both RHEL and Windows on your network, this is the version to get.

In addition, as enterprises seek to extend their existing storage investments to both support hybrid cloud deployments and reduce overhead costs, the new RHEL improves storage optimization by including a virtual data optimizer (VDO). This can reduce data storage costs in the cloud and on-premise by up to 83 percent, according to Red Hat research. VDO reduces data redundancy and improves effective storage capacity through deduplication and compression of data before it lands on a disk.

Read also: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 is ready for testing

Sensitive data can also now be better secured with enhancements to Network-Bound Disk Encryption. This now supports automatic decryption of data volumes.

This latest version of RHEL also added full support for Buildah, an open-source utility designed to help developers create and modify Linux container images with no full container runtime or daemon running in the background. This enables IT teams to build and quickly deploy containerized applications without a full container engine. This also reduces the attack surface.

Want to check it out? You can read RHEL 7.5's white paper or just download RHEL 7.5 and see for yourself.

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