Red Hat, the king of Linux and open source world; the only fully open source company to bag over a billion dollars in revenue, has announced the general availability of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) 6.7, the latest update to RHEL 6 platform.
While individuals, governments and organizations continue to lose billions of dollars in damages due to security holes in Microsoft Windows (the latest victim was the infamous Hacker Team), Linux remains a secure choice for these customers. No software is bug free, but unlike Mac OS X or Windows, when the security holes are discovered they are patched in matter of hours or days and not months or years.
Security by design
The latest RHEL comes with many new enhanced security features. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.7, for example, prevents data leakage by allowing read-only mounting of removable media.
RHEL 6.7 also comes with the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) Workbench, an easy-to-use tool that functions as a SCAP scanner and delivers tailored SCAP content functionality. SCAP Workbench, building upon existing SCAP functionality in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, allows customers to measure the compliance of their Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems against their own company-specific security guidelines and criteria.
One of the biggest benefits that 6.7 brings to customer is compatibility with Red Hat Access Insights. It’s a new hosted service by the company to help customers proactively identify and fix issues that could affect their businesses. Red Hat said in a press release, “The software can alert managers to potential issues – such as configuration problems or security vulnerabilities – within each of these areas so IT administrators can use the Red Hat Access Insights dashboard to identify, understand, and correct or intercept issues before any business impact occurs.”
New from Linux
Linux, unlike other kernels, is a continuously evolving beast; each release brings new features to enhance performance. Though server grade distros (short name for Linux distributions) like RHEL are conservative when it comes to the kernel and stick to stable, and older, releases of the Linux kernel to ensure it’s fully patched and tested. However, that doesn’t mean RHEL doesn’t benefit from it. Since Red Hat is among the top contributors to the kernel, their distro continues to benefit from it.
Enterprise grade distros often offer newer Linux technologies as ‘tech preview’ so admins can check them out and play in a ‘non-production’ environment, without compromising stability. RHEL 6.7 comes with the technology preview of clufter, a tool that analyzes and transforms cluster configuration formats. This tool allows sysadmins to update existing high-availability configurations to run on the latest high-availability tools from Red Hat.
Another kernel technology that’s getting full support in 6.7 is LVM Cache. It allows users to maximize the performance benefits of SSD-based storage while limiting associated costs.
Containers are getting hotter and Red Hat is not sitting back. The company has made available the base images of RHEL 6.7 through the Red Hat Customer Portal. It allows customers to “transform traditional workloads into container-based applications that are suitable for deployment on Red Hat certified container hosts, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host, and OpenShift Enterprise 3 by Red Hat.”
RHEL 6.7 is available for download and upgrade immediately for subscribers.