KVM Virtualization: Refining the Virtual World with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta

Ever since Red Hat Enterprise Linux added KVM Virtualization as a kernel-based hypervisor to run virtual machines (way back in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4), the operating system took on a dual personality.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux became both a Virtualization host for high density virtual data centers / cloud service platforms, and a guest operating system running on third party hypervisors such as VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. As the topic is sufficiently broad, I plan to split my discussion of virtualization into two posts.

Today’s post will discuss Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta as a hypervisor using KVM Virtualization technology and it will highlight a few key enhancements that make Red Hat Enterprise Linux the operating system of choice for modern hybrid data centers. While the features that I will review are inherently those that I find to be the most exciting (note: I’m hoping you will find them to be exciting and useful as well), a complete list is available in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta release notes.

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Network Management, Bandwidth, and Security

It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of networking in today’s business environment. Since networking provides a central means for data exchange and collaboration, it is often a critical factor when it comes to determining an organization’s ultimate potential for success.

At Red Hat, we understand the importance of networking and the role it plays in maintaining business continuity. As such, we made networking one of the primary focus areas of development for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Having incorporated numerous enhancements and performance optimizations into the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta – I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about “what’s new” with respect to improvements in network management, bandwidth, and security.

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Who Goes There? Identity Management in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta

It seems that the daily news is full of the fallout that results when companies fail to protect online identities. The ability to limit access to sensitive applications and information to the right people with the right credentials is critical to ensuring the overall security of your infrastructure; critical… but not always easy.

Until recently, options for centralized identity management for the Linux environment were limited. There was no turnkey domain controller-like solution for the Linux/UNIX environment. Some Linux shops integrated open source tools like Kerberos and DNS to create centralized Linux-based identity management, but this option could be time-consuming to develop and expensive to maintain. Others integrated Linux clients directly into Microsoft Active Directory, but this option limited their ability to take advantage of some useful native Linux functionality like sudo and automount.

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NFS & GFS2

In an effort to round out my post from this past Tuesday I’d like to share a little additional information on both Network File System (NFS) updates and enhancements to the GFS2 shared disk file system (…all, of course, in the context of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta).

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Is there a best Linux file system?

Is there a best anything? Perhaps. I, personally, tend to think that home-made chocolate chip cookies are the best dessert. However, when it comes to file systems… there are no absolutes.

File systems come in all shapes and sizes; and where one may be perfect for a particular application or scenario – it may not be right for other use cases. This is where Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta shines as it brings a variety of substantial enhancements to file systems in the form of scalability improvements, performance enhancements, and file system choices.

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Wrapping It Up

Don’t let the title fool you – we’re not shutting down the newly minted Red Hat Enterprise Linux blog!  On the contrary, we’re really just starting out.

However, as many of us here at Red Hat will be on break for the holidays, there will be a gap in blog posts until the first week of 2014.

In the mean time, if you didn’t happen to read last Friday’s post by Russ Doty, I encourage you to read through it to learn more about OpenLMI.  Not only is it a solid introduction to the Open Linux Management Infrastructure, but it’s a great example of the type of content that we have lined up for January.

From all of us here on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux team – we wish you a safe and enjoyable holiday season and a happy new year!

Managing Linux with OpenLMI

Managing Linux servers requires a degree of expertise. We need to do a better job of enabling mid-level system administrators with a background on other systems to manage Linux.

Existing management tools address a variety of needs. Red Hat Satellite Server is excellent for provisioning hardware, managing subscriptions, and handling patches and updates. Configuration management tools such as Puppet are great for putting systems into a known state, especially when you have many identical or near identical systems. The challenge is dealing with systems that need substantial customization and with fine grain control of individual systems.

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In Their Own Words (Part 2)

Happy Friday everyone!

As a follow-up to Wednesday’s post, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux YouTube channel has just been updated to include another video where the team at Red Hat shares some additional thoughts on the beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

Stay tuned for one additional post later today where guest author Russ Doty reviews OpenLMI (the Open Linux Management Infrastructure).

What to Expect…

On December 11, Red Hat made waves in the tech world with the beta launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Representing Red Hat’s vision for not just the future of Red Hat Enterprise Linux but enterprise IT in general, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta delivers a powerful, flexible platform that meets the needs of businesses today while also offering a clear path to the open hybrid cloud.

All of that being said, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta introduces a host of new, enhanced and improved features, from Linux Container technology to hosted and in-place upgrades to filesystem updates. While these are good things for IT, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the multitude of capabilities, like a child staring at a pile of holiday gifts. We’re here to help.

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