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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Finally Hits the Big Time

  • June 16, 2014
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

Perhaps the biggest release on the Linux Planet in the past week came from the world's largest Linux vendor (by revenue), Red Hat.

After what might have seemed like an eternity to some (though was only 3 and half years in reality), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (RHEL) officially became generally available. RHEL 6 was first released in November of 2010.

While there hasn't been a major iteration change from RHEL in nearly four years, that hasn't meant RHEL 6 stood still during that time. In fact, there have been five separate point updates for RHEL 6 that have incrementally added features to the platform.

In the first half of 2011, RHEL 6.1 added enterprise identity features to the platform. RHEL 6.2, which was released in December of 2011, added improved server resource control.

In 2012, RHEL 6.3 provided users with higher levels of scalability for virtualization. In 2013, RHEL 6.4 improved connectivity and interoperability with Windows Servers and Microsoft's Active Directory.

RHEL 6.5, which was released in November of 2013, provided some limited support for Docker containers.

What Does RHEL 7 Have to Offer?

With the big number change for RHEL 7, what exactly is Red Hat providing?

For one, Docker containers are now fully supported on the platform, alongside the KVM hypervisor. Instead of EXT4 as the default filesystem, XFS is the default, enabling the filesystem to scale up to 500 TB. Early on in the RHEL 7 development cycle, the expectation was that Btrfs would be the default, but that didn't happen.

From a management perspective, OpenLMI is now part of the system. For database users, instead of MySQL being the default, Red Hat has chosen to go with its own fork, MariaDB.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Linux Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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