Red Hat has officially released the latest version of its enterprise-grade Linux distribution, adding enhancements designed to increase the platform's suitability for underpinning large, complex IT projects, especially cloud-computing deployments.
Available now, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 adds security, networking and virtualisation enhancements, providing an enterprise platform with the stability to enable IT departments to take on major infrastructure challenges and the flexibility to handle future requirements, the firm said.
Many of the enhancements have already been available for customers to trial as part of a beta version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 made available earlier.
These include the ability for administrators to dynamically enable or disable virtual processors (vCPUs) inside guest virtual machines without having to stop or suspend them, a feature designed to better support elastic scaling of workloads. The KVM hypervisor also now supports virtual machine instances with up to 4TB of memory for more demanding applications.
However, guest drivers in Red Hat Enterprise Linux have also been updated to improve the performance of the platform when it is running as a guest virtual machine on supported third-party hypervisors.
On the security side, Red Hat said the new release features a centralised certificate trust store providing standardised certificate access for security services, plus tools that support the OpenSCAP 2.1 implementation of the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) developed by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for auditing and verifying security configuration.
Enterprise storage scalability has also been addressed, with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 now able to configure more than 255 LUNs connected to a single iSCSI target. Red Hat said that updates to the kexec/kdump mechanism now make it possible to create debug (dump) files on systems configured with very large memory configurations.
The KVM hypervisor also integrates with GlusterFS volumes to provide direct access to the open-source distributed storage platform, which Red Hat acquired in 2011, and now offers as Red Hat Storage Server.
Jim Totton, vice president of Red Hat's Platform Business Unit, said the latest release is crucial as it underpins the entire Red Hat portfolio, including its OpenStack and OpenShift cloud platforms.
"Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 provides the innovation expected from the industry's leading enterprise Linux operating system while also delivering a mature platform for business operations, be it standardising operating environments or supporting critical applications," he said.
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