Red Hat Summit and JBoss World 2010
Background on future versions of RHEL, RHEV and more
by Thorsten Leemhuis
Slides and videos of the presentations at Red Hat's annual convention provide a host of information about the features and capabilities of current and forthcoming Red Hat products. The presenters offered a particularly wide range of details on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, scheduled for release in the coming months, and on the various virtualisation products in the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation family.
In the third week of June, Red Hat held their "Red Hat Summit and JBoss World" convention in Boston. As usual, the annual event was used as a platform for presenting new products and services – this year's most important being Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation (RHEV) version 2.2, Cloud Solutions, Edition One and the JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform (EPP) 5.0. The product introductions were accompanied by the vendor's profit and revenue figures for the latest quarter and the release of a new customer portal.
The convention's "Partner Pavilion" area offered visitors from around the world ample opportunity to get informed about the products and services offered by Red Hat as well as AMD, Cisco, Dell, eXo, HP, IBM, Intel and more than a dozen other firms; visitors also had plenty of opportunity to compare notes with others and to network at the exhibition stands, at break times and during the evening events that were sponsored by Cisco and IBM.
However, the highlight of this event, which according to Red Hat attracted more than 2200 visitors, was the two-and-a-half day schedule of presentations with at times up to twelve presentations running simultaneously – six of the auditoriums primarily offered Linux topics, five discussed JBoss and one presented cloud aspects. The keynotes that opened each of the three days and some of the presentations were recorded on video and have been made available on the Summit's web site. The site also offers PDF documents of many of the slides used during presentations which provide plenty of background information for all those who couldn't attend the event.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
Quite a few presentations of the Summit track discussed, directly or indirectly, the sixth version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), a Linux distribution primarily geared towards corporate customers – it is the company's flagship product and main source of income, and is distributed via a subscription model.
RHEL6 has been in public beta testing since mid-April. A week after the Summit, the company released a second beta that is said to be "feature complete" – meaning it already contains all the features that will eventually be included in RHEL6. However, Red Hat doesn't even appear to have set an internal date for the final release yet. As with previous versions of RHEL, it was announced that the release of RHEL 6 is planned for "when it is ready"; however, this statement was supplemented by the confident suggestion that this target can be reached in the second half of 2010.
A highly detailed and informative overview of the new RHEL6 features is available from the slides from "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Roadmap" presented by Tim Burke (Vice President of Linux Platform Development) and in the handout entitled "Feature, Function, Benefit profile" that was available at the Summit. The presentation begins by explaining the four main aspects behind RHEL6; headings such as "Optimized foundation OS" and "Green IT" gently introduced the audience to the topics discussed. Red Hat explains this in more detail on pages six to eight of the corresponding PDF document, where nine "foundation features" are listed.