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Friday, 04 November 2016 10:10

Security, storage improvements claimed in Red Hat release

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The world's biggest open source company, Red Hat, has released version 7.3 of its Linux distribution for businesses, claiming improvements in security, networking and storage performance.

The release has updated SELinux, which is a kernel patch to add security features, and patches to applications to allow them to determine the security domain in which to run processes.

The updates enable compliance checks for workloads run both within and outside containers, through changes to OpenSCAP, an implementation of the security content automation protocol. Compliance policies can now be configured using a graphical interface provided by the OpenSCAP Workbench interface.

The company said there were improvements made to Red Hat's identity management software, adding support for authenticating smart cards with Microsoft's Active Directory, and providing varying levels of authentication across different hosts and services.

The new release also provided a means of disaster recovery for multiple sites without the need for third-party software. Towards this end, specifically in this release, there is the ability to configure pacemaker, a high availability resource manager package, to manage multi-site and stretch clusters across geographically diverse locations. Better pacemaker alerts provide information about changes in a managed cluster.

The release has incremental improvements for managing containerised workloads. Management tools like Atomic CLI and Cockpit have been enhanced and the container runtime has also been updated, the company claimed.

As far as the Internet of Things goes, 7.3 adds support for communication with Bluetooth low energy devices. The kernel in this release includes built-in support for the controller area network bus protocol, which is used in vehicles and controllers for high-end industrial equipment.

The new release includes the variant Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host, an operating system with a very small footprint that is meant to run Linux containers. A technology preview allows for the addition of software to cater to more diverse needs.

Another variant, Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Applications, can now run on IBM z Systems and IBM Power big endian systems.

There is also a development preview of Red Hat Enterprise Linux for 64-bit ARM-based systems. This now includes KVM-based single-host virtualisation, Ceph storage and preliminary support for the Red Hat developer toolset.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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