Red Hat is updating its Linux platform today with the releases of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.10 (RHEL) operating system and the Satellite 5.6 server management solution. The RHEL 5.10 release debuts after several months of beta testing that began in July.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, first released in 2007, is no longer the leading edge of Red Hat's Linux efforts. Red Hat has been updating RHEL 5 regularly as part of the operating system's 10-year supported lifespan. RHEL 5.9 was released in January.
"Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 is now in Production Phase 2 where stability for mission-critical deployments is paramount," Ron Pacheco, senior manager, platform product management at Red Hat, told eWEEK. "In Production Phase 2, we focus on qualified critical and important security errata advisories, and urgent priority bug-fix errata advisories may be released as they become available."
The plan for Product Phase 2 is that new software functionality is not added to the product during the phase. Rather, new software functionality lands in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.x product line, which debuted in 2010. That said, Red Hat has decided to update the open-source MySQL database server version that is available to RHEL 5.x customers.
"We elected to help preserve the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 customer base's investment in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and open-source databases by updating from MySQL 5.0x to MySQL 5.5, which was the most stable version available during the development window for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.10," Pacheco said.
Moving to RHEL 6
While Red Hat continues to support RHEL 5, Brian Gollaher, principal product manager for platform at Red Hat, told eWEEK that organizations move to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 when they need or want a newer kernel or newer packages.
"Some want to stay on older releases because all their apps work just fine and they have no need to change," Gollaher said. "We fully support Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, so there is no need for a customer to move if they are happy; the long supported lifecycle is a major value of Red Hat Enterprise Linux."
Pacheco noted that, for existing customers, the need for stability is extremely important. He added that there is a tremendous overlap between Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and 6 from a time perspective, as well. That overlap is the time during which both operating systems are fully supported and it's approximately seven years. That time overlap lets customers plan and perform a deliberate migration from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.
Red Hat is also updating its Satellite systems management solution with a new release. The Red Hat Satellite 5.6 solution works with all currently supported versions of RHEL, including the 5.x and 6.x branches.
"The Red Hat Satellite 5.6 product continues to be based on the Spacewalk open-source project," Cliff Perry, engineering manager for Red Hat Satellite, told eWEEK.
Among the new features in the release is support for Cobbler build disk images (ISOs). Cobbler is an open-source project that enables Linux server provisioning. Perry explained that Cobbler build ISOs allow users to take a build ISO from an existing Kickstart profile and boot machines locally. Red Hat Kickstart is a software installation technology for RHEL.
"This improves and further automates the provisioning process, particularly in environments where PXE booting is otherwise difficult to execute," Perry said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.