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Today, we are pleased to announce that the next beta release for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 – Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 – is now available. The beta release includes a broad set of updates to the existing feature set and provides rich new functionality in the areas of identity management, file system, virtualization, and storage as well as productivity tools.

Through collaboration with partners, customers and the open source community, we are committed to delivering technology that is tested and stable – including in the beta phase of development. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 demonstrates this commitment and has been designed for optimized performance, stability and flexibility to cater to today’s diverse workloads running in physical, virtual and cloud environments.

Key new features and enhancement details include:

Identity Management

  • System Security Services Daemon (SSSD) enhancements improve the interoperability experience with [Microsoft Active Directory] by providing centralized identity access control for Linux/Unix clients in a heterogeneous environment.


File system

  • pNFS (Parallel NFS) client (file layout only) remains in technology preview, however now delivers performance improvements with the addition of Direct I/O for faster data access. This drives particular performance benefits for I/O intensive use cases including database workloads.


Virtualization

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 now includes the Microsoft Hyper-V Linux drivers, which were recently accepted by the upstream Linux community, improving the overall performance of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 as a guest on Microsoft Hyper-V.
  • Installation support for VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V para-virtualization drivers. This new feature enhances the user deployment experience of Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a guest in either of these virtualization environments.
  • In this release, KVM virtualization virtio-scsi support, a new industry storage architecture, provides industry leading storage stack scalability.


Management

  • The use of swap functionality over NFS enables more efficient read/write tradeoffs between local system memory and remote disks. This capability increases performance in very large, disk-less server farms seen in ISP and Web hosting environments.
  • Enhancement in c-groups delivers the ability to migrate multi-threaded applications without errors.
  • Optimized perf tool for the latest Intel processors


Storage

  • New system log features identify mapping from block device name to physical device identifier – allowing an administrator to easily locate specific devices as needed.


Productivity Tools

  • Microsoft interoperability improvements with Microsoft Exchange and calendar support in Evolution. Productivity functions, such as calendar support with alarm notification and meeting scheduling is improved.
  • Customers such as animation studios and graphic design houses now have support for the newer Wacom tablets.


Through this next beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Red Hat is proud to deliver the highest quality open source enterprise platform. We look to the community and our partners and customers for feedback to ensure Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 follows this path. Access to the beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 is available here: https://rhn.redhat.com/rhn/software/channels/Beta.do.


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