The latest iteration of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (6.5) is
now available, and it’s a serious contender to usurp all other platforms as
king of the enterprise space. This particular release was designed specifically
to simplify the operation of mission-critical SAP applications. The new release
focuses on key enterprise-specific areas, including:

  • Subscription
    management services
  • Scalability
  • Networking
  • Storage
  • Virtualization
  • Security

What we know

Kernel:

  • The pm8001/pm80xx driver adds support for
    PMC-Sierra Adaptec Series 6H and 7H SAS/SATA HBA cards, plus PMC Sierra 8081, 8088, and 8089
    chip-based SAS/SATA controllers
  • Configurable Timeout for Unresponsive Devices
  • Configuration of Maximum Time for Error Recovery
  • Lenovo X220 Touchscreen Support
  • New Supported Compression Formats for
    makedumpfile

Networking:

  • Precision Time Protocol (PTP)
  • Analyzing the Non-Configuration IP Multicast
    IGMP Snooping Data
  • PPPoE Connections Support in NetworkManager
  • Network Namespace Support for OpenStack
  • SCTP Support to Change the Cryptography Hash
    Function
  • M3UA Measurement Counters for SCTP
  • Managing DOVE Tunnels Using iproute
  • WoWLAN Support for Atheros Interfaces
  • SR-IOV Functionality in the qlcnic Driver

Security:

  • OpenSSL Updated to Version 1.0.1
  • Smartcard Support in OpenSSH
  • ECDSA Support in OpenSSL
  • ECDHE Support in OpenSSL
  • Support of TLS 1.1 and 1.2 in OpenSSL and NSS
  • OpenSSH Support of HMAC-SHA2 Algorithm
  • Prefix Macro in OpenSSL
  • NSA Suite B Cryptography Support
  • Shared System Certificates
  • Automatic Synchronization of Local Users
    Centrally in Identity Management
  • ECC Support in NSS
  • Certificate Support in OpenSSH

A new time protocol

There are specific enterprises (such as trading-related
industries) where application latency must be measured in microseconds. Because
of this need, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 now supports sub-microsecond clock accuracy over the
local area network (LAN) using the Precision Time Protocol (PTP). This
precision time synchronization is key to enable better performance for
high-speed, low-latency applications.

Networking

PTP isn’t the only improvement to the network subsystem.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 improved networking includes new capabilities that enable system
administrators to inspect Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) data to
list multicast router ports and multicast groups with active subscribers (and
their associated interfaces). The improvements in networking allow the Red Hat
server to better meet the needs of modern network scenarios.

Next-gen enterprise security

The latest iteration of Red Hat Enterprise Linux goes a long way to integrate
security. One of the main changes is the addition of a centralized certificate
trust store that enables standardized certificate access for security services.
Also added into this release is OpenSCAP 2.1, an implementation of the National
Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Security Content Automation
Protocol (SCAP) 1.2 standard.

Virtualization

One of the big improvements with virtualization in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 is the ability to enable and disable virtual processors CPUs (vCPUs) in active guests. This improvement makes it an
ideal choice for elastic workloads. Also, the handling of memory intensive applications within guests has been improved, thanks to the inclusion of support for up
to 4 TB of memory on the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor. Lastly, integration with GlusterFS volumes is now supported, and this provides direct access to the distributed storage platform, which greatly
improves performance when accessing either Red Hat Storage or GlusterFS
volumes.

Storage

Storage is crucial to any enterprise. You need
to have reliable and fast access to data, including portability. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5, customers are able
to deploy application images in containers created in physical, virtual, or
cloud environments. This feature is accomplished using Docker, an open-source
project to package and run lightweight, self-sufficient containers.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 has also improved support for NVM Express-based
Solid Sate Drives (SSDs), which standardizes the interface for PCIe-based SSDs.
If you can afford a server loaded with SSDs, the performance increase is
exceptional — and Red Hat fully understands that.

Scalability has been improved within Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 as well.
It’s now possible to configure more than 255 Logical Unit Number (LUNs)
connected to a single iSCSI target. Administrators can also control and recover
SAN for iSCSI. There are numerous other storage-centric improvements (Fibre
Channel, updates to kexec/kdump mechanism, and more). Finally, Red Hat
Enterprise Linux 6.5 makes it easier to track and manage the consumption of
subscriptions across the entire enterprise.

Resources

For more information about Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5, visit the resources below: