Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.7 Enters Beta

Even though RHEL 7 is the latest version, the Linux vendor continues to add new features to RHEL6.x.

RHEL 6.7

Linux vendor Red Hat on May 5 released its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.7 beta, providing users with a preview of features and capabilities that will become generally available later this year.

RHEL 6 was first released in November 2010 and is no longer the leading edge of Red Hat's platform efforts. In June 2014, RHEL 7 debuted, providing new file system and Docker container support. Just because Red Hat is working on RHEL 7 doesn't mean it's leaving its RHEL 6 users behind. Red Hat has a 10-year life cycle process for its operating system platform, which includes multiple phases of support.

"Currently, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 is in Production Phase One of its 10-year supported life cycle, which means it still receives software enhancements and new features as evidenced by some of the new additions to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.7 beta," Steve Almy, product manager at Red Hat, told eWEEK.

As an open-source platform vendor, Red Hat's technology is rooted in upstream open-source communities, such as the Linux kernel. Almy explained that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and 7 (and their minor releases) are both derived from upstream communities, so both undergo the same thorough evaluation, integration, backporting and testing processes as part of the standard Red Hat Enterprise Linux release cycle.

Almy added that many of the new features that will be appearing in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 will likely be added to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. There's no backporting of features from one version to the other, but it's more a factor of the release cadences being separate, he said.

Among the new features landing in RHEL 6.7 is Clufter, which is an offline tool used to convert cluster configuration files.

"From a use case perspective, Clufter helps cluster administrators to adapt their existing settings to run properly on the new High Availability tools, which are consistent with what also ships with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7," Almy said.

Another capability that is landing in RHEL 6.7 is LVM (Logical Volume Management) Cache, which enables users to have a small, fast storage device acting as a cache for a larger, slower storage device.

"In LVM Cache, the default multiqueue policy makes intelligent choices about what to cache in order to collect small, random I/Os in the cache," Almy said, "while larger, contiguous transfers that generally hurt overall cache performance are routed around the cache."

RHEL 6.7 also provides users with improved Microsoft Windows operating system interoperability, by way of enhancements added to the Red Hat System Security Services Daemon. Additionally, the new SCAP (Security Content Automation Protocol) Workbench now provides users with a graphical user interface to make the SCAP tool easier to use. SCAP provides a framework for creating a standardized approach for maintaining secure systems.

RHEL 6.7 is currently in beta, and the general availability date has not yet been formally set.

"As with all releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, we plan to make Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.7 generally available at the close of the beta period, which typically lasts several months," Almy said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.