Precision Time Synchronization & Network Latency

In the second installment of “what’s new” for networking features in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, I’d like to shift the focus and spend some time talking about improvements to network time synchronization and enhancements in the network stack designed to reduce latency.  Note that the previous installment of this two part series was posted during the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta; now that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 is generally available I encourage customers to visit the Red Hat Customer Portal, download this latest release, and to let me know what you think.

Highly Accurate Time Synchronization

Precise time synchronization with microsecond or nanosecond accuracy is increasingly critical to the success of many high-speed, low-latency applications. Whether tracking time on trading transactions or market feeds, improving the time stamp accuracy on archived data, or administration-free time synchronization of servers within a rack (or around the world) for automation or regulatory purposes, precision time synchronization is a key enabler for delivering better performance.

New to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7,

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Red Hat Around the Web: Summit Q&A, NetworkManager 0.9.10, and DevOps (Part 3)

Were you able to attend the Red Hat Enterprise Linux roadmap session at this year’s Red Hat Summit?  If not, I have some good news – the slides are still available (here).  In addition, many of the questions that were asked after the presentation were recorded, sorted, and answered… and are now posted on the Red Hat Summit Blog.  Of note:

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If You Like Bonding, You Will Love Teaming

In this day and age, where almost everything is connected to the World Wide Web, the demands on networking (in general) are mushrooming. In the developed world it’s common to be able to get 20 megabits per second connections on our mobile devices and 50 megabits per second connections at home. By extension, the demands on enterprise data centers are even higher (by at least three to four orders of magnitude) – as these central “hubs” are where traffic from the aforementioned individual end nodes converge. Consider the act of flipping through a series of cloud-hosted HD photos on a mobile device – this can easily result in billions of packets being transferred (in fractions of a second).

The good news is that our networking interfaces are getting “bigger and faster.” 40 gigabit per second Ethernet is currently being deployed, and work to finalize on 100 gigbit per second end point interfaces is currently underway.

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Red Hat Unveils Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

Six months ago we announced the beta availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Two months ago, at Red Hat Summit 2014, we announced the availability of a release candidate for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. All the while we have been validating what’s new, different, and exciting about what Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 has to offer – including:

Today we are pleased to announce the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, the latest major release of our flagship platform. As stated in this morning’s press release:

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Now Available: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Release Candidate

In followup to last week’s announcement, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Release Candidate (RC) is now publicly available for testing.

Vital for helping Red Hat’s strategic partners facilitate full certification of their applications and systems with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 RC is now accessible to all interested parties, from end users to enterprises, seeking to gain insight into how Red Hat redefines the enterprise operating system.

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Release Candidate & Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host

For those not attending Red Hat Summit 2014 or not tracking the latest news and updates (available on the official Red Hat Summit Blog), you may have missed two important and exciting announcements, namely:

  • A Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Release Candidate (RC) will be made publicly available (starting next week).  As a pre-release build of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 RC offers a near-final look at the only operating system crafted for the open hybrid cloud, building upon the feedback collected during the beta program for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.
  • Also, Red Hat plans to introduce Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host as a new addition to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux family.  Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host couples the flexible, lightweight and modular capabilities of Linux Containers with the reliability and security of Red Hat Enterprise Linux in a reduced image size that will enable easy movement of Red Hat Enterprise Linux-certified applications across bare metal systems, virtual machines and private and public clouds.

For more information on either the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 RC or our plans for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host – I encourage you to visit: press.redhat.com

Mitigate TCP SYN Flood Attacks with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are becoming increasingly commonplace as business becomes more and more dependent on delivering services over the Internet.  One of the most common types of DDoS attacks is the well-known SYN-flood attack. It is a basic end-host resource attack designed to bring your server to its knees.  As a result, your server is unable to properly handle any new incoming connection requests.

Recently at DevConf.cz 2014, I gave a talk focusing on how you can survive TCP SYN-flooding attacks by implementing some recently developed kernel level Netfilter/iptables defense mechanisms. In this post I will provide a more condensed version of the talk highlighting how you can use these same techniques to protect your servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta.

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A New and Improved Installation Experience

The installation software used in Red Hat Enterprise Linux has a long and storied history. Hewn from a stone found deep underground in Durham, North Carolina (during the early days of Red Hat Linux), the installer has grown from a simple single-platform tool to a complex multi-architecture / multi-interface application used to deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux. After more than ten years with the original evolving code base, the installer engineering team decided to use the advent of a new release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the perfect opportunity to make a few significant changes to the installation software. We are excited about these changes and hope that users will find the new installer to be more versatile and easier to use. Here are some of the main improvements and enhancements that you will encounter when working with the new installer for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta:

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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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