Red Hat primes Enterprise Linux for virtual Windows

RHEL 5.9 has baked in drivers for Windows Server Hyper-V, along with open source Java support and fed-friendly security

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is now a welcome virtual guest in Microsoft Hyper-V environments, one of the latest improvements to the now generally available RHEL 5.9. Red Hat has also bolstered the platform with security enhancements, new developer tools, and improved app support.

The support for Hyper-V means RHEL can run alongside Windows Server in heterogeneous, multivendor environments -- a critical capability in the increasingly virtualized-cloud world. It also points to the direction Microsoft is moving as it takes on rival VMware in the virtualization space.

Microsoft touted the new drivers for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V back in September, before they'd been certified through the Red Hat Hardware Certification Program. "The device drivers needed to run RHEL as a first-class guest on Hyper-V are built right in, making it easier for customers to manage their heterogeneous Red Hat Enterprise Linux-Windows environments for virtualization and private cloud," wrote Abhishek Gupta, program manager for Linux Integration Services at Microsoft.

Hyper-V support aside, the newest version of RHEL includes several new developer-friendly features and tools, according to Red Hat, including the ability to develop and test with the latest version of open source Java available through OpenJDK 7. Red Hat also has added new SystemTap improvements, including compile server and client support for IPv6 networks, smaller SystemTap files, faster compiles, and compile server support for multiple concurrent connections.

Security-wise, RHEL 5.9 brings tighter security controls, according to Red Hat, including a feature for assessing password strengths. It includes support for the latest government password policy requirements, as well as for using FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) mode with dmraid root devices. FIPS mode now supports RAID device discovery, RAID set activation, and the creation, removal, rebuilding, and displaying of properties, the company said.

RHEL's new rsyslog5 package has been upgraded to Version 5, while Samba has been updated to Version 3.6, which offers such features as SMB2 support.

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