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The hybrid cloud requires a consistent foundation and today, we are pleased to refine and innovate that foundation with the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 beta. The latest update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 is designed to deliver control, confidence, and freedom to demanding business environments, keeping pace with cloud-native innovation while supporting new and existing production operations across the many footprints of enterprise IT.

As Red Hat’s Paul Cormier states, the hybrid cloud is becoming a default technology choice. Enterprises want the best answers to meet their specific needs, regardless of whether that’s through the public cloud or on bare metal in their own datacenter. Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides an answer to a wide variety of IT challenges, providing a stable, enterprise-grade backbone across all of IT’s footprints - physical, virtual, private cloud, and public cloud. As the future of IT turns towards workloads running across heterogeneous environments, Red Hat Enterprise Linux has focused on evolving to meet these changing needs.

To better enable enterprise-class hybrid clouds while still supporting traditional IT scenarios, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 beta adds new and enhanced capabilities emphasizing innovations in security and compliance features, management and automation, and Linux containers.

Security and compliance features

By using Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 hardware modules, the NBDE capability has been extended to provide two layers of security features for hybrid cloud operations: The network-based mechanism is applicable in the cloud, while the use of TPM on-premises helps to keep information on disks physically more secure.

For better integration with counter-intrusion measures, firewall operations through Red Hat Enterprise Linux have been improved with enhancements to nftables. The nft command line tool can now also provide better control of packet filtering, providing greater overall visibility and simplified configuration for systems security.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 beta provides new default cryptographic algorithms for RSA and ECC, which help maintain FIPS compliance and stay current with cryptography requirements from NIST and other standards bodies, as well as organizations responsible for handling sensitive information.

Management and automation

The task of managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 continues to be refined, with the latest beta version introducing enhancements to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Web Console including:

  • Showing available updates on the system summary page

  • Automatic configuration of single sign-on for identity management, helping to simplify this task for security administrators

  • An interface to control firewall services

Finally, the integration of the extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF) provides a safer, more efficient mechanism for monitoring activity within the kernel and helps to enable additional performance monitoring and network tracing tools in the future.

Linux container innovations

To remain more tightly aligned with Linux containers and cloud-native breakthroughs, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 beta introduces Podman, part of Red Hat’s lightweight container toolkit built with enterprise-grade security features in mind. Based on open standards, Podman complements Buildah and Skopeo by enabling users to run, build and share containers with a familiar command line interface. It also shares the same foundations as CRI-O, helping to provide the capability to run containers both inside and outside of Kubernetes.

Podman can start and run standalone (non-orchestrated) containers from the command line, as services through systemd, or via a remote API; these same capabilities can be used to invoke groups of containers, on a single node, also called pods. It does not require a daemon to function which helps to eliminate complexity and the client server interactions of a traditional container engine. The technology also helps developers who want to build containers on their desktop, in CI/CD systems, or even starting containers within HPC and big data schedulers.

For more information on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 beta, please read the release notes. Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers can try out the latest version of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform at https://access.redhat.com/downloads/, with a 30-day evaluation trial also available.

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