Red Hat Breaking Records and Fighting Fragmentation

by Ostatic Staff - May. 06, 2015

Red Hat has been grabbing headlines the last couple of days. It started yesterday with the announcement of RHEL 6.7 Beta which brings new and updated features to those not ready to move on to RHEL 7.x. Today Red Hat took "a stand against container fragmentation" and announced their part in six record breaking Intel Xeon E7 v3 systems. SuSE lead seven to world records too and Debian Jessie reviews are still rolling in.

Today Red Hat's Lars Hermann et al. wrote, "While Red Hat fully embraces the innovation of Linux containers, we are also committed to the development and adoption of four key standards areas within the Linux container community." Lots of folks are getting into the container business, including Microsoft, and "standards minimize the risk of a technology becoming fragmented and inoperable". Hermann said there are four key areas that need to be standardized:

* Isolation - the isolation of Linux containers through control groups (cgroups), kernel namespaces, SELinux, and other capabilities that form not only the backbone of containers but most Linux distributions and PaaS platforms in general.

* Packaging format - Docker provides the ability to package the application with all its dependencies into a single image, and has been adopted by a large community of users. This creates a huge opportunity for the industry to collaborate on driving a single standard for container images instead of fragmenting into various competing formats.

* Orchestration - Red Hat looks to Kubernetes as the orchestration standard for containers. Kubernetes with its pluggable architecture can integrate with richer scheduling technologies - without introducing application incompatibility because of how the orchestration primitives of clustering, connectivity and instantiation are handled.

* Distribution - Lastly, standardization is also critical when it comes to the software distribution architecture: registry, repository, or index for containers, which defines the protocol for exchanging, consuming, and publishing container content.

Another note from Red Hat today said, "Intel launched the Intel Xeon E7 v3 processor family with several new world record industry-standard benchmarks. Red Hat Enterprise Linux was used in nearly one-third of all results." They provided the following table summarizing the records for Red Hat this year:

Significance OEM Platform Benchmark OS
4-socket world record Dell PowerEdge R930 SAP Sales & Distribution (2-Tier) RHEL 7.1
4-socket world record Lenovo System x3850 X6 SPECvirt_sc2013 RHEL 6.6
2-socket world record Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST 2800E2 SPECfp_rate_base2006 RHEL 7.1
8-socket world record Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST 2800E2 SPECint_rate_base2006 RHEL 6.6
8-socket world record (x86) Huawei FusionServer RH8100 V3 SPECfp_rate_base2006 RHEL 7
Overall world record HP ProLiant DL580 G9 SPECfp_base2006 RHEL 7.1

Seven were running SuSE Enterprise Server 11 SP3 or 12 for SAP Applications. Five ran Microsoft Windows Server.

Yesterday, Red Hat announced Enterprise Linux 6.7 Beta for current subscribers saying, "The beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.7 includes a number of new and updated features to help organizations preserve investments in existing infrastructure, bolster security, stability, and systems management/monitoring capabilities, and embrace the latest Linux innovations." Some of these include:

* Increased interoperability with Active Directory and Identity Management servers
* Clufter helps upgrade or migrate clusters to Red Hat tools
* The ability to specify allowed mount options in udev rules
* Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) Workbench
* Update of Performance Co-Pilot
* LVM Cache now fully supported
* 6.7 Beta Base image enables customers to migrate their traditional workloads into container-based applications

In other news, The Register and's Jessie Smith reviewed Debian 8.0 Jessie this week. After extensive testing, Smith concluded, "I do not think running on desktop and laptop computers is one of Debian's strengths. The operating system can be made to work well on a desktop machine, but it needs to be worked into the role, shaped to fit the desktop. Debian is not an install-and-go desktop distribution. It is not trying to be, it has plenty of children vying to fill that role." The Register countered, "Because Debian, the stablest distro I've ever used, forms the base of so many distros it's typically not a huge stretch to switch over to pure Debian. If you've used downstream distros, but have never given Debian a try, Jessie makes a great place to start."

One other note tonight from Aaron Seigo said, "A society that is reliant on a technology can only be as free as that technology. Our societies are (or are becoming) reliant on software. Software must therefore be free if we want personal and societal freedom to bloom.

Allowing us to be free is therefore the best feature of free software."