Jun 192014
 

rhel

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is a GNU/Linux distribution developed by Red Hat and targeted toward the commercial market.

Around 1 week ago the version 7 of Red Hat Enterprise has been released, and there seem to be great and interesting news in this version of the most used Gnu/Linux Enterprise distribution, let’s see some of them:

  • Linux Containers
  • XFS filesystems
  • Performance management
  • All the rest



Linux Containers

This is in my point of view one of the most interesting thing of this release, and show how much Red Hat want to support this project as they give a lot of support to docker.

Docker is an open source project that automates the deployment of applications inside Linux Containers, and provides the capability to package an application with its runtime dependencies into a container. It provides a Docker CLI command line tool for the lifecycle management of image-based containers. Linux containers enable rapid application deployment, simpler testing, maintenance, and troubleshooting while improving security. Using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 with Docker allows customers to increase staff efficiency, deploy third-party applications faster, enable a more agile development environment, and manage resources more tightly.

This open up a lot of possibility to easily and quickly deploy test/qa machine on your server.

XFS filesystems

The default file system for an Anaconda-based installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 is now XFS, which replaces the Fourth Extended Filesystem (ext4) used by default in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. The ext4, ext3 and ext2 file systems can be used as alternatives to XFS.

XFS is a highly scalable, high-performance file system which was originally designed at Silicon Graphics, Inc. It was created to support file systems up to 16 exabytes (approximately 16 million terabytes), files up to 8 exabytes (approximately 8 million terabytes) and directory structures containing tens of millions of entries. XFS supports metadata journaling, which facilitates quicker crash recovery. XFS file system can also be defragmented and expanded while mounted and active. Note that it is not possible to shrink XFS file system.

“[Use of XFS] opens the door to a new class of data warehouse and big data analytics applications,” said Mark Coggin, senior director of product marketing, in an interview before the announcement.

Performance management

With rhel 7 you’ll get all the standard GNU/Linux tools such as top,vmstat and sar but offer also a new tool: tuna

Tuna is a tool that can be used to adjust scheduler tunables such as scheduler policy, RT priority and CPU affinity. It also allows the user to see the results of these changes.

Threads and IRQ handlers are able to be tuned. It is also possible to isolate CPU cores and sockets, moving all threads away from them so that a new, more important set of threads can run exclusively.

Tuna provides a graphical user interface (GUI). The GUI displays the CPU topology on one screen, which helps identify problems. It also allows changes to made to running threads, and see the results of those changes immediately.

Most Tuna operations can be performed on either the command line, or in the GUI.
Performing tuning tasks using traditional Linux tools can be daunting and complicated. Tuna reduces that complexity and provides powerful tools for getting the most of the MRG Realtime system.

Upgrade from RHEL 6

In the past there was not any upgrade procedure or path to upgrade to a newer RHEL release, and so to move from 5 to 6 the suggested path was something like “backup date, scratch, reinstall and retrieve data” not so handy or useful if compared to other distribution (e.g. Debian) where you can easily upgrade from a release to another, but with version 7 this could change as with version 6.5 there is a feature called “in place upgrade”, I’ve not tested it yet but the fact that there is an official document and procedure it’s a good start for sure.

Systemd

systemd is a system and service manager for Linux, and replaces SysV and Upstart used in previous releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. systemd is compatible with SysV and Linux Standard Base init scripts.
systemd offers, among others, the following capabilities:

  • Aggressive parallelization capabilities;
  • Use of socket and D-Bus activation for starting services;
  • On-demand starting of daemons;
  • Managing of control groups;
  • Creating of system state snapshots and restoring of the system state.

Desktop

Wait, this is an enterprise server release, so who cares if it ship the ugly unity (my opinion of course) or the latest Gnome ?
It’s not a windows server, so just go via ssh with your terminal and you’ll be fine.


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