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Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3, the latest version of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform. This update to Red Hat’s flagship Linux operating system 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 (IoT), designed to help early enterprise adopters use existing investments as they scale to meet new business demands.
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 (VoIP) 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 (IO) 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 (pNFS) 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 (SCAP), 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 (docker engine). 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.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Variants
Today’s launch also signifies updates to several Red Hat Enterprise Linux variants. From powering massive container build-outs to delivering open innovation on new server architectures, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 variants provide answers to some of the most specific enterprise architecture needs. These variants include:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host, a minimal footprint operating system optimized to run Linux containers. Running applications in containers on top of Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host provides application portability across the hybrid cloud. New to Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host 7.3 as a Technology Preview is the capability for users to layer additional RPMs, providing additional flexibility often required by diverse environments.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Applications, a variant optimized for running SAP environments, is now supported on IBM z Systems and IBM Power, big endian.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server for ARM 7.3 Development Preview, Red Hat’s operating system designed for 64-bit ARM-based systems has been updated to include:
Single-host virtualization based on KVM, one of the leading open source virtualization technologies.
Red Hat Ceph Storage for prototyping and deploying scale-out, software- defined storage for object, block, and file.
Initial support for Red Hat Developer Toolset, which provides C and C++ developers with the latest stable open source tools to create, diagnose, and debug applications for 64-bit ARM platforms.
Jim Totton, vice president and general manager, Platforms Business Unit, Red Hat
“As modern enterprise applications become increasingly resource intensive at both the network and storage levels, IT infrastructure must not just keep pace, but anticipate and adapt to these changing needs. 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.”