Red Hat Advances Enterprise Linux and Storage
Red Hat is a dominating presence on the Linux Planet, with more than $1 billion in revenue and an army of upstream kernel developers. This past week, Red Hat updated its flagship enterprise Linux and put out the debut release of a new storage platform. One area Red Hat doesn't dominate, however, is the mobile space, and that will soon have a new open source entrant with HP's webOS.
1. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2
Red Hat first released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6(RHEL) a year ago in November 2011. One of the big new items in that release was the introduction of Linux control groups (cgroups), which provide a new paradigm for resource management.
In the RHEL 6.2 release, Red Hat has taken cgroups a step further, providing support for fixed limits on system resource assignments. The RHEL 6.2 release also advances RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access) for iSCSI, which will help improve storage performance and lower latency.
2. Red Hat Storage Software Appliance
In addition to an updated operating system release, Red Hat was also busy last week on the storage front. The new Red Hat Storage Software Appliance (SSA) is the first piece of technology to benefit from Red Hat's acquisition of storage vendor Gluster.
Red Hat paid $136 million for Gluster earlier this month. The SSA uses the GlusterFS 3.2 release running on top of RHEL, providing a solution for unstructured data use-cases.
3. HP Open Source webOS
Back in August, HP decided to kill its mobile webOS operating system. HP's webOS has lots of Linux ties, and HP had spent more than its fair share of time promoting the OS to the Linux community.
HP has now decided to open source webOS, creating a new open source competitor for Android.
There are more questions than answers at this point about the future of webOS and how it will be developed. That said, if HP doesn't cripple the code and provides it all as open source in a way that enables innovation, webOS could return to be a contender.
4. KDE 4.7.4 and 4.8
On the Linux desktop, KDE developers continue its two-pronged approach to staying stable and pushing forward.
On the stable side, KDE 4.7.4 was released, providing incremental bug fixes and performance improvements to the 4.7.x branch of KDE. On the pushing-forward side, KDE 4.8 beta 2 was released, previewing the next generation of the KDE desktop.
"Among the highlights which will be in 4.8 are a new and fancy view engine for Dolphin, Qt Quick Components for Plasma, and of course all the fixes that went into 4.7.4," KDE developer Sebastian Kugler wrote in a blog posting.
5. Linux 3.2 RC 5
Linux founder Linus Torvalds continues to push forward ahead of the holiday to try and get the Linux 3.2 kernel out the door.
This past week, Torvalds released the fifth release candidate for the 3.2 kernel. It had more developer commits than previous 3.2 release candidates. Torvalds warned developers not to send him too much stuff as he locks down for a final release.
"So I'm going to continue to push back a bit on people sending me stuff, but I'm also just going to hope that this was some one-time thing and we really will be calming down now," Torvalds wrote. "Ok? Because we all want a quiet holiday season, don't we? And Santa doesn't like it when I curse a lot in email."