Open Source Insider

Aug 6 2019   3:53PM GMT

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7,  it’s a bit better than 7.6

Adrian Bridgwater Adrian Bridgwater Profile: Adrian Bridgwater

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Red Hat… no, wait, stop there — not Red Hat the IBM company, actually just Red Hat — that’s how the company is still putting out news stories.

We’ll start again, open source enterprise software company Red Hat has announced a point release for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) as it now hits its 7.7 version.

But what could Red Hat have put into version 7.7 that it failed to markedly address in version 7.6 may we ask?

The company points to terms like ‘enhanced consistency and control’ across cloud infrastructures (plural) for IT operations teams.

There’s also ‘modern supported container creation tools’ for enterprise application developers — as opposed to the old fashioned ones, that shipped in 7.6, presumably.

This version also moves to what Red Hat calls Maintenance Phase I, which does sound like the workshop power-down time that Star Wars TIE fighters need to go through in order to recharge their nuclear cells.

Infrastructure stability

In reality, Maintenance Phase I is all about Red Hat working to try and ‘maintain infrastructure stability’ for production environments and enhancing the reliability of the operating system.

Red Hat doesn’t go into detail to explain how it works to maintain infrastructure stability, but we can guess that this means looking at how the operating system behaves when exposed to different application types, running different data workloads, requiring different compute, storage, Input/Output actions, analytics engine calls (and so on and so on)… and then firming up the core build of the kernel itself so that it’s strong and flexible enough to handle life in the real world.

Future minor releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 will now focus solely on retaining and improving this stability rather than what have been called ‘net-new’ features.

Toolkit treats

Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscribers are able to migrate across platform versions as support and feature needs dictate. To help with the process, Red Hat offers tools, including in-place upgrades, which helps to streamline and simplify migrating one Red Hat version to another.

NOTE: Let’s remember that Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 8.0 does already exist, so this is Red Hat updating a version at a slightly lower level for customers who wish to progress their upgrade paths one point at a time.

Other more tangible new features include: 

  • Red Hat Insights, Red Hat’s expertise-as-a-service offering, which helps users proactively detect, analyze and remediate a variety of potential software security and configuration issues before they cause downtime or other problems.
  • Support for image builder, a Red Hat Enterprise Linux utility that enables IT teams to build cloud images for major public cloud infrastructures, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7 also introduces support for live patching the underlying Linux kernel. Live patching support enables IT teams to apply kernel updates to remediate Critical or Important Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) while reducing the need for system reboots.

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