In June, we announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, effectively raising the bar for enterprise IT infrastructure and pushing the operating system into the role of being a critical infrastructure platform for the enterprise. Featuring a broad spectrum of significant new features and enhancements, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 is designed to not only meet the demands of today’s modern datacenter but to tackle the next-generation IT requirements of tomorrow. From accelerating application delivery through containerization – to laying a stable foundation for the open hybrid cloud – Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 continues to redefine the enterprise operating system.
Today, we are pleased to build on the successful launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 with the beta availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1, which delivers a number of enhancements and improvements to the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, with an emphasis on ease-of-use, improved manageability, security, and performance. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta also introduces support for POWER8 on IBM Power Systems (based on little endian) hardware architecture and gives customers even more choice on application deployment platforms.
Ease-of-Use and Improved Manageability
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 streamlined system administration and system configuration through the introduction of OpenLMI – a unified management tooling and industry-standard management framework. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta enhances OpenLMI by adding new capabilities for managing storage and introducing support for thin provisioning in LVM (Logical Volume Manager). In addition, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta makes it easy for system administrators to access Ceph block storage devices "out-of-the-box" thanks to the inclusion of Ceph userspace components and the Ceph RADOS Block Devices (RBD) kernel module. And, for environments where Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Microsoft Windows live under the same roof, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta also includes improved interoperability through the integration of Common Internet File System (CIFS) with SSSD, providing native access to Microsoft Windows file and print services without relying on Winbind.
One of the most anticipated features of Identity Management (IdM) in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta is the ability to provide strong one-time password (OTP) authentication via LDAP and Kerberos protocols leveraging software tokens provided by FreeOTP (open source alternative to Google Authenticator) and hardware tokens provided by different vendors (like Yubico). The beta also introduces a new Certificate Authority (CA) management tool which makes it easy for customers using IdM to change a CA certificate and alter the trust chain.
Additionally, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta includes Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) Security Guides which delivers both a written description of SCAP guidelines as well as a testing tool that automates the ability to evaluate compliance with security guidelines and pinpoint potential vulnerabilities on a given system. These SCAP Security Guides effectively reduce the complexity of ongoing compliance testing and enhance security assurance.
Additional Application Deployment Options
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 enhanced application development, delivery, portability and isolation through increased Linux containers functionality, including Docker, across physical, virtual and cloud deployments as well as development, test, and production environments. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta bolsters these capabilities by providing customers access to the latest Docker package (version 1.2) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform images available through the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Extras channel and Red Hat Customer Portal, respectively.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta builds on a host of "out-of-the-box" performance management features and capabilities, like tuned and performance profiles. In addition, new locking mechanisms have been implemented in the kernel that improve processor efficiency for large systems with sizable NUMA nodes.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta provides access to new real-time technology for workloads that require very precise and deterministic processing times. This capability is delivered via enhancements to the Linux kernel and additional userspace packages that can be overlayed on top of a stock Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta installation.
Additionally, for customers who are using the IBM Power Systems platform as part of their datacenter infrastructure, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta now includes support for POWER8 on IBM Power Systems (based on little endian). Running in little endian mode accelerates innovation on the Power platform by removing an application portability barrier and allowing customers utilizing IBM Power Systems to leverage the existing ecosystem of Linux applications as developed for the x86 architecture.
For a full list of new features, enhancements and fixes, please see the full release notes. Customers and partners with active subscriptions can access Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta today. Note that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 introduces support for the Power, Little Endian architecture. To download the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 for Power, Little Endian beta, please visit http://red.ht/1GhqIbv.