A lot of advances have been made in storage as well. The FUSE (File system in User Space) can be configured so that all reads and writes are done directly to the storage device, bypassing the server cache. This approach could make response times more consistent. Administrators can now do all their RAID management through the Logical Volume Manager (LVM), which now supports RAID levels 4, 5, and 6. This eliminates the step of working with RAID through the mdadm utility. LVM now includes thin provisioning.
"Thin provisioning allows you to over provision. Not all of your guests will consume all of their [allotted storage] space, so it is a waste just to have it sitting around in case the user would hit their maximum" allotment, Burke said. Previous RHEL thin provisioning capabilities required special disks; this version can use any disks.
Also on the storage front, RHEL can now act as a storage host for FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) storage networks.
As with any update, the software includes updated drivers for the latest hardware. It comes, for example, with a compiler for Intel's recently released Xeon E5 processor family. On the software front, RHEL 6.3 includes OpenJDK 7, the open source implementation of Java Standard Edition 7.
Red Hat has also made some changes with how it manages its support subscriptions. The Subscription Asset Manager (SAM) will start using X.509 certificates to identify supported machines. Also for the first time, subscriptions can be managed on the local machine.