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Oracle has released the latest version of its enterprise-grade Linux distribution, adding numerous features to support business-critical workloads such as Oracle Database 12c as well as emerging technologies such as the OpenStack cloud framework.
Available to download now, Oracle Linux 7 is based on Red Hat's Enterprise Linux distribution, but adds a number of key enhancements for Oracle's enterprise customers, addressing areas such as availability and scalability.
Wim Coekaerts, Oracle senior vice president of Linux and Virtualization Engineering, said: "Oracle Linux 7 will continue the tradition of following Red Hat with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, which was announced in June."
He added: "The base product will continue the same compatibility we had in the past with Oracle Linux 6 and RHEL 6, and so on. From a core distribution point of view, Oracle Linux 7 will be equivalent to RHEL 7."
However, among the options Oracle is offering customers is its own Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 3 as an alternative to the standard Linux kernel. Released last October, this delivers production support for Linux containers (LXC), inclusion of DTrace for Linux into the kernel, along with other enhancements such as improved support for Control Groups and the latest Intel Xeon processors.
Oracle Linux 7 also now allows users to install Oracle's own B-tree file system (Btrfs) technology as the root file system for the first time, according to Coekaerts. Users can choose whether they want this or the XFS file system added with RHEL 7.
Another key feature for enterprises in Oracle's Linux is the Ksplice technology, which enables customers to apply security patches and updates to the Linux kernel on-the-fly without rebooting. This eliminates the need for scheduled downtimes of vital server infrastructure.
There is also an upgrade tool that allows users of Oracle Linux 6 to migrate servers to the new version without having to do complete re-install, Coekaerts said, although he added that there is no rush as Oracle will continue to support Oracle Linux 6.
In fact, Oracle now provides a 10-year production lifecycle for its Oracle Linux releases, while those customers with Oracle Linux Support subscriptions receive lifetime support.
Oracle said Oracle Linux 7 provides the performance and reliability to support business-critical workloads such as its recently released Oracle Database 12c, while Oracle Linux is also used in all of the firm's x86-based engineered systems.
In May, the firm also released a preview of its own OpenStack cloud computing distribution designed to run atop Oracle Linux and Oracle VM Server.
"Oracle Linux allows users to benefit from an open approach for emerging technologies, like OpenStack, and allows them to meet the performance and reliability requirements of the modern data centre," Coekaerts said.