Beta 2 of Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux 5 has been released for download and sports many exciting features.  Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 beta 2 is available for download to all Red Hat Network subscribers–others may be able to obtain an evaluation copy via Red Hat sales.

Storage and Server virtualisation are fully integrated in to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5; it also offers Red Hat clustering support which enables failover via Red Hat Global File System, Red Hat LVM and Red Hat Cluster Suite.  The Red Hat Global File System allows a cluster of servers to share data in a common storage repository.  This reduces wasted space taken by redundant copies of data and simplifies backup/restore procedures.

Two releases of beta 2 are available, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Client and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Server.  Red Hat are hoping to increase deployment of the Client variant (desktop) by offering single licences rather than insisting on volume licensing which has been aimed at large deployments.  This should encourage smaller business to adopt the Red Hat client.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 beta 1 came up against some heavy criticism, the Xen Virtualisation management system didn’t work and yum (the replacement for Red Hat’s up2date package management system) had been described as ‘thoroughly broken’.  Let’s hope that beta 2 sees these issues addressed and doesn’t introduce too many new ones.