Red Hat has made available a beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.5, extending its corporate Linux distribution with numerous enhancements to virtualisation, security and scalability.
Available now to download from the Red Hat network for customers with an Enterprise Linux subscription, the beta shows improvements Red Hat is preparing for the production release of RHEL 6.5.
These include the usual enhancements to virtualisation support, with RHEL hosts now able to support virtual machine guests with up to 4TB of memory plus dynamic hot-add functionality for virtual CPUs, enabling users to scale up virtual machines while running, rather than take them offline to perform this action.
Red Hat said it can now convert VMware or Citrix Xen virtual machines to Red Hat guests. This can help customers to simplify complex and diverse virtual infrastructure onto the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) technology used in RHEL, according to the firm.
Storage improvements include driver support for Intel's NVM Express for PCI Express solid-state drives (SSDs), while RHEL 6.5 also features improved control and recovery in storage area networks (SANs) based on internet small computer system interface (iSCSI) and Fibre Channel, Red Hat said.
On the security side, the beta now enables Network Security Services (NSS), the GNU Transport Layer Security (GnuTLS) Library OpenSSL and Java to share a single system-wide static data store that can be used as input by cryptography tools for trusted certificate decisions. It also adds broader support for single sign-on using smartcard authentication and support for Transport Layer Security (TLS 1.2).
Various networking improvements address industry-specific requirements, according to Red Hat, including Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) statistics for telecoms customers, better analysis of multicast traffic and IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol Version 2 (PTPv2), used for synchronising clocks in an Ethernet network.
With this beta, RHEL also integrates seamlessly with Red Hat subscription management services, enabling customers to centralise control of all Red Hat subscription assets and manage inventory.
Meanwhile for end users, the beta adds support for Microsoft's remote desktop protocol (RDP), enabling remote screen access to Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 systems. The Evolution mail client also integrates better with Microsoft Exchange, according to Red Hat.
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