Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 Beta brings improved container support

RHEL is optimizing its operating systems for those who are planning to deploy containers.

jan wild redhat
Credit: Swapnil Bhartiya

Red Hat has announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.2 beta. In addition to the typical updates, the release will make it easier for businesses to build and deploy Linux containers. This release also brings some refreshment to the RHEL desktop with rebasing it to GNOME 3.14 desktop and package GNOME Software.

The beta improves the platform's underlying container support infrastructure, including OverlayFS and user namespaces. These improvements will assist customers in containerizing existing (traditional) applications and at the same time develop new applications based on a microservices style architecture.

What users won’t find in the RHEL 7.2 Beta is Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host, their container-optimized host platform because it is updated on a rapid 6-week sprint cycle.

Some of the enhancements that come with the beta include (from the press release)

Better processor allocation for tasks that require dedicated processor time. Modern systems have multiple processors and certain demanding workloads typically prioritize a dedicated processor at all times rather than efficiently sharing processor time with other applications and services. The introduction of on-demand vmstat workers in the kernel helps achieve more efficient CPU sharing and resource balancing.

The ability to remotely manage local disk data security based on network identity, making the task easier and more secure.

Enhancements to the storage management API (libStorageMgmt) now provide a vendor agnostic mechanism to query disk health and RAID configuration management.

The introduction of conntrack-tools for better network connection tracking

Enhancements  to NetworkManager, facilitating better integration with external programs

A new web-based user interface for Performance Co-Pilot, aiding in the management and analysis of network and system performance.

New tooling that aids in diagnostics and allows system administrators to easily gather key I/O metrics for device mapper devices.

Security is an ongoing process

To further improve the security of RHEL, the company has introduced a new SCAP module in the installer (anaconda) that allows enterprise customers to apply SCAP-based security profiles during installation.

The beta also adds the ability to bind data to local networks, allowing enterprises "to encrypt systems at scale with centralized management," according to the press release. "In addition, Red Hat Enterprise 7.2 beta introduces support for DNSSEC for DNS zones managed by Identity Management (IdM) as well as federated identities, a mechanism that allows users to access resources using a single set of digital credentials."

Red Hat customers can download the beta from the download page.

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