Red Hat Launches Enterprise Linux 6.4, Big Data Focus

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-02-22

Red Hat Launches Enterprise Linux 6.4, Big Data Focus

Red Hat has announced general availability of the next minor release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.4.

With this release RHEL has been optimized for performance, stability and flexibility, and designed to help organizations manage their workloads across physical, virtual and cloud environments. Red Hat Enterprise Linux introduces several new components that help enterprises meet core business objectives, including support for the parallel Network File System (pNFS), enhanced interoperability and more.

Red Hat has collaborated with its partners and the community on the pNFS industry standard. This helps to solve the problems associated with NFS sprawl, characterized by the explosive growth of data and the increased burden of managing file system complexity, the company said. Capabilities have also been added that result in performance gains for I/O intensive workloads like database access. Using the new pNFS client -- delivered in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 -- customers can begin to plan and design next-generation, scalable file system solutions based on pNFS.

“NetApp and Red Hat are seeing considerable demand for pNFS capabilities from customers looking to modernize their data center environment to address the extreme requirements around scale, performance and manageability,” said Patrick Rogers, vice president of solutions and integrations at NetApp, in a statement. “With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4, Red Hat has achieved a significant milestone advancing pNFS client support, which reflects their continued leadership and innovation in enterprise-class open source solutions.”

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 continues to expand security through enhanced identity and host-based access management. This release also provides easier interoperability in heterogeneous environments, whether identities are Linux- based or managed by Microsoft Active Directory, the company said.

RHEL 6 .4 also includes Microsoft Hyper-V Linux drivers, improving the overall performance of the operating system when running as a guest on Microsoft Hyper-V. The latest release also offers installation support for the VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V para-virtualized drivers, improving the deployment experience for users working in these environments.

In addition, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 provides enhancement to control groups (cgroups), allowing multi-threaded applications to migrate smoothly between them. And this release includes updated performance monitoring tools that support new counters -- performance monitoring units, or PMUs -- from Intel.

Moreover, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 includes several key productivity-focused improvements, including enhanced interoperability with Microsoft Exchange, calendar support in Evolution, and new functions, such as alarm notifications and the ability to schedule meetings. This update also includes support for newer Wacom tablets, which benefits professional animators and design artists.

"Red Hat Enterprise Linux has long been considered the premier open source operating system for enterprises, and this latest iteration further cements the platform as a compelling foundation for mission-critical solutions across physical, virtual and cloud environments," said Jim Totton, vice president and general manager of Red Hat's Platform Business Unit, in a statement. "The features found within Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 — from support for pNFS to expanded security features and much more — exemplify our commitment to innovation and providing our customers with the advanced tools they need to attain their business goals."

Meanwhile, Red Hat also recently announced its big data direction and solutions for enterprises looking for reliable, scalable, and manageable solutions to effectively run their big data analytics workloads. The company also announced it is contributing its Red Hat Storage Hadoop plug-in to the Apache Hadoop open community to transform Red Hat Storage into a fully-supported, Hadoop-compatible file system for big data environments. Red Hat also said it is building a network of ecosystem and enterprise integration partners to deliver big data solutions to enterprise customers.

Red Hat said it intends to make its Hadoop plug-in for Red Hat Storage available to the Hadoop community later this year. Currently in technology preview, the Red Hat Storage Apache Hadoop plug-in provides a new storage option for enterprise Hadoop deployments that delivers enterprise storage features while maintaining API compatibility and local data access. Red Hat Storage brings enterprise-class features to big data environments, such as Geo replication, high availability, POSIX compliance, disaster recovery and management. This solution provides users with a unified data and scale out storage software platform to accommodate files and objects deployed across physical, virtual, public and hybrid cloud resources.

Red Hat Launches Enterprise Linux 6.4, Big Data Focus

“Red Hat is uniquely positioned to excel in enterprise big data solutions, a market that IDC expects to grow from $6 billion in 2011 to $23.8 billion in 2016,” said Ashish Nadkarni, research director for storage systems and co-lead for big data global overview at IDC in a statement. “Red Hat is one of the very few infrastructure providers that can deliver a comprehensive big data solution because of the breadth of its infrastructure solutions and application platforms for on-premises or cloud delivery models. As a leading contributor to open source communities developing essential technologies for the big data IT stack – from Linux to OpenStack Origin and Gluster – Red Hat will continue to play a pivotal role in big data.”

Company officials said Red Hat’s big data infrastructure and application platforms are ideally suited for enterprises leveraging the open hybrid cloud environment. The company’s big data infrastructure solutions include Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Storage and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization According to the Jan. 2012 The Linux Foundation Enterprise Linux User Report, the majority of big data implementations run on Linux and as the leading provider of commercial Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a leading platform for big data deployments.

For its part, Red Hat Storage, built on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system and the GlusterFS distributed file system, can be used to pool inexpensive commodity servers to provide a cost-effective, scalable, and reliable storage solution for big data. Moreover, announced in Dec. 2012, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.1 is integrated with Red Hat Storage, enabling it to access the shared storage pool managed by Red Hat Storage. This integration also offers enterprises reduced operational costs, expanded portability, and choice of infrastructure, scalability and availability. The combination of these platforms furthers Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud vision of an integrated and converged Red Hat Storage and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization node that serves compute and storage resources, Red Hat officials said.

Another key component of the company’s big data strategy, Red Hat JBoss Middleware, provides enterprises with technologies for creating and integrating big data-driven applications that are able to interact with new and emerging technologies like Hadoop or MongoDB.

To provide a big data solution set to enterprises, Red Hat plans to partner with leading big data software and hardware providers to offer interoperability. The company also will enable the delivery of big data solutions to its customers through leading enterprise integration partners using the reference architectures developed by Red Hat and its big data ecosystem partners.

With its big data announcement, “Red Hat demonstrates its strong commitment to continue to provide enterprise infrastructure and platforms to effectively run big data applications today and in the growing open hybrid cloud environment,” said Ranga Rangachari, vice president and general manager of storage at Red Hat, in a statement. “With true enterprise-class offerings, Red Hat leverages the power of the open source community to give our big data customers a choice in technology, deployment environments, and partners.”

Many enterprises use public cloud infrastructure, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), for the development, proof-of-concept, and pre-production phases of their big data projects. The workloads are then moved to their private clouds to scale up the analytics with the larger data set. An open hybrid cloud environment enables enterprises to transfer workloads from the public cloud into their private cloud without the need to re-tool their applications. Red Hat is engaged in the open cloud community through projects like OpenStack and OpenShift Origin to help meet these enterprise big data needs, the company said.

Meanwhile, Zadara Storage, an innovator in cloud block storage, announced that its Red Hat Enterprise Linux based storage Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) are now available in the AWS Marketplace. The inclusion of the Zadara Red Hat AMIs in the AWS Marketplace makes enterprise-class, Storage-as-a-Service a viable and attractive solution for Network Attached Storage (NAS) users and database users requiring shared storage, Zadara officials said.

This provides Native Red Hat Cluster Services with MySQL, and easy, preconfigured access to Enterprise-class NAS on AWS. The Zadara Red Hat AMIs provide users the benefits of a pure cloud storage solution, plus the ease of implementation that comes with preconfigured images. The Zadara AMIs, are available on-demand through AWS Marketplace, and can be deployed within the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) environment. Customers can take advantage of the standard Red Hat images with the necessary standard packages and automation scripts for connecting to Zadara Virtual Private Storage Arrays (VPSAs). The Zadara RHEL AMIs published includes NAS and Clustering: RHEL 6 ready for Zadara VPSA Cloud Block/File Storage, and RHEL 6 Cluster with MySQL.

"We are excited to have Zadara Storage offerings on AWS Marketplace, adding to our growing ecosystem of Red Hat Enterprise Linux partners," said Sajai Krishnan, general manager of AWS Marketplace. "Zadara products used with AWS's highly scalable, secure and flexible platform provide AWS customers with NAS data storage functionality for their unstructured data needs, and clustering capabilities for their high-availability MySQL database storage needs."

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