Red Hat beta release stuffed with new features

Red Hat introduced major changes in areas such as security and virtualization with the beta release of Enterprise Linux 6.3

Red Hat released a feature-packed beta of Enterprise Linux 6.3 earlier this week, making major changes in areas ranging from security to virtualization.

One new tool, Virt-P2V, lets users convert physical Windows or Red Hat Enterprise Linux implementations directly into virtual machines, so that they can be run as KVM guests. A sharp increase in the number of virtual CPUs and amount of memory available for such guests should help them run more smoothly. The company noted that VMware ESX currently supports just 32 simultaneous vCPUs, compared to 160 in the version 6.3 beta.

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Red Hat also introduced optimizations designed to boost RHEL's performance with Intel Xeon E5 processors and the USB 3.0 standard, along with several improvements aimed at compliance with security standards like PCI-DSS.

Other, more general features have been added as well, like logical volume manager support for RAID levels 4, 5 and 6, better integration with Active Directory, and tweaks to minimize the performance impact created by security processes.

Version 6.2 of RHEL was released in December 2011, and the H Online reports that the six- to 10-week beta period that is customary for RHEL releases means the full version should be seen in June. This is the second beta release of the month for Red Hat, as the company rolled out a test version of its Storage 2.0 product. That system is aimed at providing easy software-based management of complex enterprise storage technology.

RELATED: Red Hat announces beta availability of Storage 2.0

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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This story, "Red Hat beta release stuffed with new features" was originally published by Network World.

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