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[rhelv6-announce] Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 Beta Announcement



Today, Red Hat announces the availability of the public Beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3. With this Beta, Red Hat provides early access to the third minor release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, which was initially announced in November 2010. This minor release demonstrates the ongoing effort of Red Hat to innovate with Red Hat Enterprise Linux while maintaining the overall application and platform compatibility across the life cycle. As recently announced here, http://www.redhat.com/about/news/press-archive/2012/1/red-hat-enterprise-linux-stability-drives-demand-for-more-flexibility-in-long-term-operating-system-deployments
the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 life cycle is now extended to 10 years.

The Beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 showcases both enhancements and brand new features in many areas including virtualization, scalability, file systems, storage, security, identity management, and hardware enablement. Although there are nearly 50 new and enhanced features in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3, here are among the most noteworthy:

Virtualization
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* A new tool called Virt-P2V that facilitates the conversion of physical Windows or Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems into virtual images to be deployed as KVM guests inside Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. * Stronger compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) standards, including the ability to perform secure wipes of virtual machine disks. * The ability to perform live volume resizing, improving overall availability of virtualized guests.

Scalability
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* The maximum number of virtual CPUs (vCPUs) has been increased from 64 to 160, which lets you run larger CPU-intensive workloads on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform. VMware ESX 5.0 currently supported 32 vCPUs. * The maximum supported memory configuration for KVM guests has been increased from 512GB to 2TB.

File Systems
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* GFS2 enhancements that create faster read-write capabilities for specific use cases. * Support of O_Direct in FUSE (Filesystem in User Space), which can provide improved performance for certain workloads. * Simplified configuration and administration for the file system. Integration of automount capability with SSSD (System Security Services Daemon) provides centralized management of configuration data and the ability to improve performance through caching and load balancing. (This feature is a Technology Preview.)

Storage
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* Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 provides full support for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) Target. This feature, which was previously provided as a Technology Preview, allows customers to present their Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers as FCoE storage devices. This feature complements the FCoE Initiator support that was delivered in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0. * The Logical Volume Manager (LVM) now provides support for RAID levels 4, 5, and 6. (Previously, support for these RAID levels was provided through the MD subsystem.) This expanded LVM RAID support simplifies overall storage administration by consolidating all management functions, such as creating volumes, resizing volumes, deploying RAID, taking snapshots, etc., into a single interface. (This feature is a Technology Preview.) * The LVM now provides the ability to create thin provisioned logical volumes. Previously, storage was allocated when the volume was created, and needed to be monitored for space consumption and expanded manually. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3, storage is allocated as required, allowing volumes to expand up to the requested size on demand without intervention. (This feature is a Technology Preview.)

Security
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* Availability of a two-factor authentication mechanism, enhancing the overall security available to lock down Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments and enabling compliance with industry standards such as PCI-DSS. * Expansion of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to provide particular benefits for system performance on multi-processor machines.

Identity Management
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* With native support for netgroups and the services map in System Security Services Daemon (SSSD), Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers can be integrated into centralized systems -- such as Active Directory -- to manage system users. * The addition of an automembership plug-in streamlines the administration of new users and hosts when they are added into the Identity Management system by automatically placing them into predefined set of groups, speeding user and host provisioning. * Performance improvements through session data caching, which lowers the overall load on authentication servers.

Hardware Enablement
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* Software bandwidth management for USB 3.0 for select Intel platforms is now available. * Compiler optimization for Intel Xeon E5 processor family, which improves the result of string operations, is now included. * Improvements to memory and I/O breakpoint execution operations within compiler tools are now included.

Developer Tools
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* With the introduction of OpenJDK 7, customers can develop and test with the latest version of open source Java.

We look forward to our customer feedback on this beta, and to the continued adoption of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, the modern operating platform for the next generation enterprise.

To access and download the Beta for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3, please visit:

https://access.redhat.com/downloads/

For access to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 release notes, please visit:

https://docs.redhat.com/docs/en-US/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/6-Beta/html/6.3_Release_Notes/index.html

For access to all other Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 documentation, please visit:

https://access.redhat.com/knowledge/docs/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/

Sincerely,

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux team


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