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04 July 2012, 17:01
Red Hat's RHEL 7 roadmap

Red Hat's RHEL 7 roadmap

by Thorsten Leemhuis

The presentations and videos from Red Hat's in-house conference provide information on current and forthcoming products from the open source specialist, including version 7 of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 will be based on Fedora 18, which is due for release in November and the first public beta of RHEL 7 is scheduled for sometime in the first half of 2013. The open source specialist provided these and several other details of upcoming and planned new products at Red Hat Summit and JBossWorld 2012, its in-house conference held in Boston in the last week of June.

There are, however, still various details to be fleshed out in the plans for the next generation of RHEL. On Btrfs, for example, Red Hat manager Jim Totten told The H's associates at heise Open that they are watching the development of the filesystem and will offer support in RHEL when it is ready. Btrfs is still marked as experimental in the Linux kernel, but has been supported in SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) and RHEL derivative Oracle Linux since the spring. Btrfs can be used in RHEL 6, but is marked as a technology preview, meaning that Red Hat takes no responsibility if it blows up in the user's face.

Zoom Red Hat has not released any concrete information about the actual level of support for Btrfs
Source: Red Hat
The "Red Hat Enterprise Linux Roadmap Highlights"PDF presentation revealed that RHEL 7 will support ext4, XFS and Btrfs for both data and boot partitions. Whether ext4 will remain the default filesystem or be supplanted by Btrfs is unclear. The presentation slides include further information on enhancements planned for the next generation of RHEL. Version 7 should, for example, fully support Linux containers (LXC) – these are, and will remain, a technical preview in RHEL 6. No specific plans for ARM support in RHEL were officially presented, but Red Hat staff have pointed out that Fedora already runs on ARM. Red Hat is also reported to be working with Linaro to improve Java performance on ARM.

The presentation also discussed some of the changes that have found their way into the recently released RHEL 6.3 and RHEL 5.8, as well as some of the updates planned for RHEL 5.9 and 6.4. The highly informative presentation, in which various Red Hat managers elucidate the new features in their areas, is available as two 50 minute long videos:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Roadmap, Part 1

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Roadmap, Part 2

The slides from the presentations Best Of, Red Hat Summit, JBoss World and Transform also offer wide-ranging background information on many other products. A number of other videos are publicly available which cover various topics: for example, two videos on "Performance Analysis & Tuning of Red Hat Enterprise Linux" provide information on performance tuning which may also be of relevance for other distributions too.

Among the videos is a recording of a presentation giving an overview of the company's Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) virtualisation product – much of this presentation is taken up with describing new features planned for RHEV 3.1. It will, for example, fully support the platform-independent web administration portal, which will mean the demise of the old Internet-Explorer-based administration interface. Live snapshots and live storage migration are also planned, though the latter will only be included as a technology preview.

The enterprise cloud was a frequent topic of discussion among delegates and was also covered in a number of presentations. Shortly before the conference, Red Hat firmed up its plans for marketing its OpenShift platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and presented four private and hybrid cloud products at the conference. An overview of these and other cloud products and services can be found in the presentation "Red Hat Cloud – Present, Future & Benefits" (video, presentation slidesPDF). Details of version 2 of the GlusterFS-based Red Hat Storage Server, which was unveiled at the conference, can be found in Introduction to Red Hat StoragePDF, Red Hat Storage Roadmap & Future DirectionsPDF, Red Hat Storage PerformancePDF and Distributed File System Choices: Red Hat Storage, GFS2, & pNFSPDF.

According to Red Hat, the in-house event continues to grow, with more than 3,000 delegates making the trip to Boston this year. The next Red Hat Summit and JBossWorld will take place from 10 to 14 June 2013, also in Boston.

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