With its long-anticipated release of Linux 6, Red Hat stressed its cloud features, performance improvements and energy savings.
launch of Linux 6 to great fanfare on Nov. 10 stressed performance, green IT and
that this was not just a product release, RHEL 6 (Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6)
is the "culmination" of 10 years of learning and partnering,"
Paul Cormier, Red Hat's executive vice president and president of products and
technologies, said at the launch event, which was also on a live Webcast.
announcement was a long time coming and highly anticipated, and more than 1,000
people tuned in to the Webcast, the company said.
Red Hat is
going to play an instrumental role in shaping the tech landscape in the next 10
years, said Jim Totton, a former Microsoft executive who joined Red Hat six
months ago as vice-president of the platform business unit.
just being a standalone server operating system, RHEL is a business operating system
for both virtualization and the cloud,
there are only two commercial operating systems in the enterprise, Windows and
Linux, Red Hat's goal is for Linux to be "even more broadly and deeply"
deployed than ever, from the small to midsized companies to the enterprise,
to drive Linux deeper into every single IT organization. It is a great product
to erode the Microsoft Server ecosystem," said Cormier.
development team included a lot of virtualization and cloud features
. RHEL 6 was "built with the cloud
in mind," said Cormier. He claimed RHEL virtualized guests can reach 85
percent to 90 percent of the performance of running on native hardware, using a
kernel-based virtual machine, which was first introduced in RHEL 5.4.
Organizations can also run RHEL 5 guests on a RHEL 6 host, said Totton.
continued its tradition of one operating system across multiple architectures,
instead of getting bogged down developing for one system or another, said
Cormier. No matter where the operating system is, whether it's running in the
data center, in the cloud, on bare-metal servers, or on a virtual machine, RHEL
6 will deliver the same performance, which is a sign of "open source
success," Cormier said.
engineers worked on kernel improvements and power management to make RHEL 6
power-efficient, to the tune of using 40 percent less electricity, said Totton.
Some of these changes had been introduced in RHEL 5.4 in the spring. With these
changes in place, Red Hat engineers managed to squeeze out an additional 25
percent more energy efficiency in RHEL 6, he said.
Totton, the team contributed more than 3,500 changes to the Linux kernel.
Cormier threw out some interesting numbers through the course of the event.
RHEL 6 has more than 2,000 code packages and an 85 percent increase in the
amount of code from RHEL 5, said Totton. While more lines of code don't
necessarily translate into a better product, the sheer amount of choice
available is staggering.
Red Hat also
incorporated 1,821 customer-requested features and resolved more than 14,000
bugs on its way to RHEL 6, said Totton. In fact, RHEL 6 represents more than
600 "person-years" of work by Red Hat engineers, Totton said.
Citing Moore's Law, the team made the operating
system future-proof. It can support up to 16 terabytes of memory
architecturally, even though, as Totton noted, no physical system can actually
run that much memory at this time. It has also been configured for 4,096 CPUs,
and can support a 100-TB file system under a single OS-another current
Red Hat is
currently benchmarking the performance of RHEL 6 as compared to Windows Server
2008, said Red Hat.
whether Red Hat considered itself ahead of Oracle in the "kernel race
" because of the improvements it's
made, Cormier called the question "irrelevant." Instead, he said, "There
is no kernel race. Linux is way beyond what version of kernel you are on, way
beyond that." He added that the technology roadmap was the important
RHEL 6 is out, doesn't mean RHEL 5
is done, said Cormier during the Q&A session of the
launch event. RHEL 5 was released in 2007. With Red Hat maintaining a 10-year lifecycle
for its products, the company has another seven years to work in more
improvements and new features for RHEL 5, Cormier said.
In fact, Red
Hat announced a beta of RHEL 5.6 just the day before, adding support for BIND
9.7, improved DNSsec support, PHP 5.3, the Ethernet layer firewall and
dropwatch network stack packet analysis.
RHEL 6 is out doesn't mean the company is not already looking ahead. The
development project for RHEL 7 was formally kicked off this week, said Tim
Burke, Red Hat's vice president of Linux development. RHEL 7 will most likely
focus on data center manageability, he said.
RHEL 6 is not over yet, just as 5 is not over. We have 10 more years of
features coming," said Burke.