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Beta Release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Launched

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More than a decade after its initial launch of its Linux distribution for enterprises, Red Hat has launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta which will introduce a variety of new virtualization, cloud, networking, file system, and live update features.

ZDNet reports that RHEL 7 is slated for general release in the first quarter of 2014 and that it includes a major shift from Oracle’s MySQL to MariaDB as its default database management system.

Those with common server deployments can use the in-place upgrade feature to migrate existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 systems to 7, and a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 virtual machine can be upgraded without virtual machine modification or downtime.

Applications can be created and deployed in isolated and secure lightweight containers such as container engine Docker.

System-wide resources can be configured, monitored, and managed with systemd and OpenLMI. Performance management capabilities help customers optimize system performance and reduce performance-related IT costs. And application performance problems can be identified with improved tools like Tuna, SystemTap, Performance Co-pilot, and Thermostat.

File systems have continued to be a major focus of development in within RHEL. XFS is currently the default file system in RHEL 7, allowing support file systems as large as 500TB. But scalability enhancements to ext4 file systems allow them to be 16TB to 50TB standalone with block sizes of up to 1MB. This simplifies and speeds up block allocation and defragmentation. Emerging file system Btrfs is available as a technology preview within Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

Networking is now faster (with 40Gb Ethernet link support), more responsive, and includes TCP Fast Open and Early Retransmit for TCP.

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta is available to Red Hat customers, partners, and the public. Independent software vendors can apply for an Early Access Program.

Red Hat characterizes the latest RHEL release as one that will power many of the world’s largest clouds, with the performance, capabilities, security, and support enterprises demand, and also one that supports Red Hat’s vision for the open hybrid cloud.

About the Author

David Hamilton is a Toronto-based technology journalist who has written for the National Post and other news outlets. He has covered the hosting industry internationally for the Web Host Industry Review with particular attention to innovative hosting solutions and the issues facing the industry. David is a graduate of Queen’s University and the Humber College School of Media Studies.

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