Red Hat releases Enterprise Linux 7
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 was relegated to the dustbin of history, or at least to the dustbin of outdated, unsupported business software, earlier this year on Jan. 30. Versions 4, 5 and 6 are still in use and, perhaps more critically, still supported (though support for RHEL 4 expires in February 2015). The real news, however, is that after having their eyes figuratively glued to the calendar for months, Linux watchers finally exhaled on Tuesday with the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.
After a 25-week beta period, the newest version of the popular enterprise OS arrives with some big promises to live up to. Press materials tout that RHEL 7 "lays the foundation for the open hybrid cloud" and "pushes the operating system beyond today's position as a commodity platform." There should be plenty of enterprise customers ready to test those parameters. Red Hat's internal tracking reveals that more than 90 percent of companies to appear on last year's Fortune 500 list are reliant on RHEL.
Red Hat's president of products and technologies, Paul Cormier, said in a press release that the company is committed to staying at the forefront of the industry. "Over the course of the last 12 years, Red Hat Enterprise Linux has helped disrupt and define modern enterprise computing," Cormier said. "Red Hat Enterprise Linux has set the standard for the enterprise operating system. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, we're raising the bar again and bringing the next-generation of IT to customers."
Perhaps foremost among the bells and whistles added to RHEL 7 is its increased support for application developers through integration of Linux containers, a virtualization tool that permits multiple isolated systems to run on the same host. This enhancement was facilitated by Red Hat's integration of fledgling container project Docker. Other notable new features include RHEL 7's enhanced file system and improved compatability with other enterprise OS platforms.
Improved applicaiton performance is another ballyhooed featurel of RHEL 7, and at least one satisfied customer is already singing its praises. After deploying RHEL 7 to its ProLiant servers, computing titan HP reported breaking several world records for application performance. Maybe it's not really surprising that the new OS is making waves so quickly: Red Hat metrics show that RHEL 7 performs anywhere from 11 to 25 percent faster than RHEL 6.