RHEL 8 released: It's the last pre-IBM Red Hat Linux Enterprise Linux

The name may not change once IBM gets its hand on RHEL, but this is the last hurrah of the independent Red Hat Linux powerhouse operating system.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

In 2003, Red Hat made a radical bet. It went from being another do-it-all Linux distributor with Red Hat Linux and gambled everything on becoming an enterprise Linux power with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Red Hat won that bet. Soon, however, Red Hat will become part of IBM. So, when Red Hat  released RHEL 8 at Red Hat Summit in Boston it will be the last major "pure" Red Hat Linux distro.

RHEL 8 will be a fitting finish to this part of Red Hat's story. As the company states, RHEL 8 "is the operating system redesigned for the hybrid-cloud era and built to support the workloads and operations that stretch from enterprise datacenters to multiple public clouds. Red Hat understands that the operating system should do more than simply exist as part of a technology stack; it should be the catalyst for innovation. From Linux containers and hybrid cloud to DevOps and artificial intelligence (AI), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is built to not just support enterprise IT in the hybrid cloud, but to help these new technology strategies thrive."

They're right. RHEL is far more than just a Linux distribution. It's the foundation for everything and all things business IT in 2019. AI, Internet of Things (IoT), containers, DevOps -- you name it, it runs on Linux. And, quite often that Linux is Red Hat's Linux.

To help get those additional technologies working for your company, RHEL 8 comes with Red Hat Insights. This new program delivers Red Hat's Linux expertise as-a-service to customers.  It helps identify and remediate IT issues, from security vulnerabilities to stability problems. It uses predictive analytics based on Red Hat's open tech know how to help administrators avoid problems and unplanned downtime in production environments.

This Red Hat release also introduces Application Streams. This is the latest packaging for Red Hat giving your developers access to the latest languages, frameworks and developer tools without impacting RHEL's core resources. This will keep both your programmers and administrators happy.

Speaking of your sysadmins, RHEL 8 makes it easier for your new admins to get work done by abstracting away many sysadmin tasks with  the new RHEL web console. The console provides an intuitive, consistent graphical interface for managing and monitoring the RHEL system, from the health of virtual machines to overall system performance. To further improve ease of use, RHEL supports in-place upgrades for users wanting to upgrade from RHEL 7 to  RHEL 8.

The new RHEL also includes Ansible DevOps  baked in with RHEL System Roles. System Roles are pre-configured Ansible modules that enable ready-made automated workflows for handling common, complex sysadmin tasks. This makes it easier for new systems administrators to adopt Linux practices and helps to eliminate human error as the cause of common configuration problems.

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