Here, in detail, is why enterprise developers will love the latest version of Linux. (Linux-Watch)
If you wanted to sum up whats new in this latest release of Linux, you could say that its a Linux for high-end enterprise users.
However, this kernel is also the first one to support Toshiba, Sony, and IBMs CELL processor, which is best known as the chip that will power Sonys forthcoming PlayStation 3 game console.
Of course, CELL (Cell Broadband Engine Architecture), a 64-bit PowerPC-derived, multicore chip, is meant for more than just games.
Its designed from the silicon up to be scalable for use in everything from game consoles to workstations and servers. So, even the CELL support actually fits into the 2.6.16s themes of high-end hardware support.
More easily recognized as an enterprise play is this kernels support for the second version of Oracles OCFS2 (Oracle Cluster File System for Linux).
With this cluster support, users can get speedy disk support over SANs (Storage Area Networks), or, thanks to its TCP-based messaging system, across Fast or Gigabit Ethernets and cluster nodes or NAS (network-attached storage).
The new Linux kernel also has support for Mac OS Xs newest file system: HFSX. This is the latest update to Apples HFS Plus (Hierarchical File System Plus) file system. HFS Plus and its descendents have been the Macs default file system since Mac OS 8.1. HFSX appeared on Macs beginning with Mac OS X 10.3, Panther.
Other file systems though, which had been talked about making it into Linux, are still optional outsiders.
These include Red Hats GFS (Global File System), another clustering system, and the high-performance, journaling Reiser4 file system.
Continuing with the theme of adding more cluster goodness, the new kernel also supports the TIPC (Transparent Inter Process Communication) protocol, which is used for intra-clustering communication.
Read the full story on Linux-Watch: Whats What in Linux 2.6.16
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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.