Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 launches with support for Docker containers

Red Hat has launched the seventh iteration of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system, announcing support for emerging technologies such as Docker containers.

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Red Hat has launched the seventh iteration of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system, announcing support for emerging technologies such as Docker containers.

Now on general availability, RHEL 7 adds a number of new features to upgrade the operating system, including file system improvements, access to Microsoft Active Directory and a partnership with Docker to simplify the use of container technology in the enterprise. 

It also offers the potential to be deployed across bare metal systems, virtual machines, and public and private clouds.

According to Red Hat's senior director for product marketing, Mark Coggin, the flexibility provided by new features is one aspect of three areas of focus in the release, which also offers enhanced stability and mission-critical reliability.

“We are helping the IT department to better respond to the requirements of the business as new requirements emerge, and as competitive environments change,” he told ComputerworldUK.

“With RHEL 7 this opens the door for a lot of new capabilities to be introduced, a lot of exciting features that dramatically improve the repsonsiveness of the operating system for the user.”

The support for Linux containers means that applications can be installed on on Docker containers across physical, virtual, and cloud deployments.

“We anticipate that this will make for faster application deployment and enable more agile error-free agile organisations,” he said.

RHEL 7 will now use XFS as the default file system, which can scale to 500TB, a significant improvement on the default file size in RHEL 6, which is 50TB.

Secure access to Microsoft Active Directory will also now be offered across RHEL domains. This is possible through the use of System Security Services Daemon (SSSD), and is useful because Red Hat Linux and Windows often exist within the same data centres.

As well as addressing emerging needs, RHEL 7 will meet other demands for enterprise IT, including support for the Open Linux Management Infrastructure. This allows management of systems services in a very granular level, which can report back to other management tools, Coggin said.

Red Hat has also targeted improvements to stability and efficiency through monitoring tools like Performance Co-Pilot and Thermostat.

A new installer, Anaconda, will also enable the user to select pre-determined server profiles and configurations. For example, this would enable IT staff to access pre-selected items that can build a RHEL web server.

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