Open source trailblazers Red Hat have launched Enterprise Linux 7.3, the latest version of their popular Linux platform.
The includes new features and enhancements built around performance, security, and reliability. The release also introduces new capabilities around Linux containers and the Internet of Things, designed to help early enterprise adopters use existing investments as they scale to meet new business demands.
Commenting on the launch, Jim Totton, VP of platforms at Red Hat said: “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 delivers increased application performance and a more secure, reliable and innovative enterprise platform, well-suited for existing mission-critical workloads and emerging technology deployments like Linux containers and IoT.”
From video conferencing technologies and voice over IP to web-based applications and services, the network demands of the modern enterprise can be substantial. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 helps address this need for better networking with the addition of lightweight tunnels, enabling guest instances of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 to be more secure, efficient, scalable and flexible. Additionally, enhancements to the bulk packet memory allocator improve performance for both 40 and 100 Gb networking interfaces.
Meanwhile, high-transaction applications like databases, event processing, and virtual machines need improved input-output rates and lower latencies to help enterprises realize their benefits. New hardware technologies like non-volatile memory address these concerns, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 expands support for high speed, low latency non-volatile memory devices. In addition, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 makes performance-sensitive Parallel NFS clusters easier to manage with support for the Block SCSI layout format and the Flex Files layout format.
Security and Identity Management
IT security cannot remain static in the face of an ever-changing threat landscape, and a more secure datacenter begins with innovation at the operating system level. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 helps to drive this IT security evolution by introducing several new and enhanced security features, delivering a more secure platform for mission-critical deployments and other essential workloads. This includes:
- Updates to SELinux, a mechanism for enforcing granular, system-level access control policies, for faster policy creation and improved overall ease of use.
- A consistent compliance checking mechanism across containerized and traditional non-container workloads for better overall operations efficiency. This is provided through enhancements to OpenSCAP, an open source implementation of the Security Content Automation Protocol, which provides a standardized compliance checking solution for enterprise-level Linux infrastructure. Configuring SCAP-based policies with the OpenSCAP Workbench graphical user interface is now easier, as well.
- Improvements to Red Hat’s Identity Management solution, providing better performance for large installations, support for smart card authentication with Active Directory, and support for configurable authentication strength across individual hosts and services.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 continues to provide a solid, stable foundation for enterprise environments and workloads. Customers can now deploy a fully-integrated, multi-site disaster recovery solution without having to also rely on custom or third-party solutions, resulting in potentially reduced costs and speedier times to deployment. Specific enhancements in support of this include:
- The ability to configure pacemaker to manage multi-site and stretch clusters across geo-locations for disaster recovery and scalability.
- The ability to better configure and trigger notifications when the status of a managed cluster changes with the introduction of enhanced pacemaker alerts.
Linux containers provide a compelling mechanism to help enterprises scale to new levels of operational efficiency. They provide an innovative packaging and management format that can speed application development and drive more flexibility in managing life cycles based on the application. The combined characteristics of containers increase both application portability and infrastructure flexibility and allow organizations to more clearly delineate the roles of developers and IT administrators. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 bolsters support for Linux containers via numerous incremental improvements in addition to enhanced management tools (Atomic CLI / Cockpit) and an updated container runtime. It also includes a new container signing capability as a Technology Preview.
Industrial IoT implementations consist of vast connected networks of “smart” edge devices feeding information in real-time to centralized datacenters, allowing for improved operational efficiency and reduced operating costs. These implementations need to be backed up by a solid, enterprise-grade operating system. Presenting a powerful platform upon which to run enterprise-scale IoT, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 introduces two key features:
- Support for communication with Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) devices – an extension of the Bluetooth standard, Bluetooth LE is specifically designed for low energy devices like IoT sensors.
- Kernel support for the Controller Area Network bus (CANbus) protocol – CANbus is a controller area network used in automobiles and high-end industrial controllers.
Read more about Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3