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When we unveiled Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 at Red Hat Summit 2019, our primary focus was to deliver innovation while keeping enterprise IT’s needs for production reliability and operational compatibility front-and-center. With this launch came a predictable, six month release cadence for minor releases which continues today with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 beta.

With global dynamics putting an even greater emphasis on connectivity and IT infrastructure than before, IT organizations face a new round of difficulties. Some teams may simply need to keep operations online and functioning through times of increased demand, while other organizations need to innovate and expand to meet growing market needs. Other enterprise IT shops may face a combination of these challenges - whatever the scenario, IT organizations right now need stability and operational efficiency PLUS innovation when it comes to infrastructure.

The latest version of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 platform is designed to drive developer innovation while retaining operational stability. Key updates include updated stable and supported developer tools, new Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Roles and several new security profiles to improve IT security and compliance stances.

Flexible development, limited operational risk

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 introduced Application Streams, where software components used for application development are delivered in parallel with the underlying base operating system packages that provide the foundation for operational stability. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 beta continues to deliver on the lifecycle approach for this capability, providing access to many of the latest, stable open source tools and utilities sought by developers to build modern applications. New and updated Application Streams in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 beta include:

  • Git 2.26

  • NGINX 1.18

  • Node.js v14

  • Perl 5.30

  • PHP 7.4

  • Ruby 2.7

Reducing cloud-scale complexity

Enterprise IT estates frequently encompass hundreds to thousands of systems, all of which face near-daily maintenance and lifecycle challenges that, if missed, can lead to downtime or potential security vulnerabilities. Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers System Roles to help mitigate the complexity of running production systems at modern scale. These pre-configured Ansible playbooks are included with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 beta to help simplify the automation and consistent configuration of common administrative tasks, from allocating storage resources to configuring systems for consistent logging and performance data.

New System Roles in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 beta include System Role for System Logging, System Role for Metrics and more. Each of these roles provides easily repeatable configurations, independent of the supported version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployed, reducing the burden of maintaining and provisioning large-scale Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployments and providing additional levels of confidence that systems are properly configured and secured.

Keeping security front-and-center for cloud-native IT

For the majority of CIOs and IT decision-makers, the security and compliance of IT systems is critical, especially with digital technologies forming the backbone for remote work strategies. As a crucial part of the foundation for IT deployments, security and compliance depends on the operating system level, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 beta continues Red Hat’s work as a leader in this realm.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 beta adds profiles for the Center for Internet Security (CIS) benchmark and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Available as SCAP profiles within Red Hat Enterprise Linux, these security profiles deliver additional security configurations for IT administrators to help meet stringent compliance requirements in both the commercial and healthcare verticals. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 beta also adds a System Role for Network-Bound Disk Encryption (NBDE) to help add consistency and repeatability for configuring disk encryption as well as logging.

Beyond these key new features and enhancements, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 beta also adds:

  • System Roles for 802.1x Networking and Certificate Management, providing further standardization when configuring corporate networks and renewing security certificates.

  • Updates to performance tools and debuggers to help keep Red Hat Enterprise Linux capabilities aligned with the latest innovations coming from related open source communities

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 beta is now accessible for Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers via the Red Hat customer portal and as part of the no-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Subscription at developers.redhat.com.

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