Thursday, May 17, 2007

RedHat Enterprise Linux 5 - pushing forward

I took the chance and visited Red Hat 5 technology demonstration today. It was called Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 - Dynamic Infrastructure spoke by mr. Stanislav Polášek fro linWorx.
Firstly new features were introduced and among those:
  • Virtualization is now default
  • New and simplified licensing model (no restrictions based on RAM,CPU,...)
  • Only 2 versions (bye bye AS,ES,WS,...) Advanced Server and Desktop
  • Kernel 2.6.18, better SELinux and many smaller updates to about 1200+ packages
Well most important feature is virtualization and I have to say I'm impressed the way they did it. Such a complicated task of virtualization (and I know what that means, we've spent month before we got it right) is now simplified into well defined processes and controlled by various tools that could have some functionality lift up but works very ok for the basic purpose.
In the end there was real demo of starting of installation of RHEL5 on one machine, then in the middle of the process, migrate the machine to another physical host and finish the installation. Machine didn't have a clue what is going on.
Downtime? 2seconds!

Unfortunately it seems there are no pre-build predefined profiles of various types of machines (i.e. Intranet Server, WWW server, FW appliance,...) yet, but recently announced RedHat Exchange seems to fill the gap here. One can find pre-build images from SugarCRM (CRM), OpenFire (IM) , Zimbra (Messaging and Collaboration) and more. Very exciting, now all you need to do is to install this core Linux in your enterprise and then install those binary, instant on systems to add new features for you company.

It seems that Enterprise Linux could be the MS Small Business Server killer! Well done.

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