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Red Hat has issued the final release of its Enterprise Linux 7 family with a handful of features to help IT professionals better manage data across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, along with a suite of container creation tools aimed at developers.
To help IT operations teams weave legacy applications with cloud-native services and bare-metal services, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7 includes Red Hat Insights, which the company calls an "expertise-as-a-service" offering that helps detect, analyze and remediate a range of security and configuration issues before they can bring down a system.
By tying legacy systems to cloud-native services in the new version, Red Hat backs up IBM's intention of transforming all of its legacy software to operate in cloud-native mode. IBM plans to tailor those applications to run best on Red Hat's OpenShift platform, according to Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of cloud and cognitive software at IBM, during the IBM-Red Hat financial analyst meeting last week.
Red Hat also added full support for Image Builder, a utility that makes it easier to build cloud images that work with AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. Red Hat also boosted performance for OpenShift and OpenStack platforms largely by offloading virtual switching and network functions to the network controller hardware.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7 now has full support for the company's distributed container toolkit on Enterprise Linux-based workstations. Using the Red Hat Universal Base Image, corporate developers can build and manage containerized applications across hybrid clouds and do so with a smaller footprint.
With the new release, Red Hat debuts support for live patching of the Linux kernel. This capability permits IT pros to apply kernel updates to fix critical or important vulnerabilities and eliminates the need for system reboots.
Stefanie ChirasVice president and general manager, Red Hat Enterprise Linux
The growing acceptance of hybrid cloud as a production platform, on which many corporate IT pros run mission-critical applications, is the primary reason Red Hat is focusing on stability and consistency in version 7.7, said Stefanie Chiras, vice president and general manager of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
"With 7.7 we are also demonstrating our commitment to the 10-year Red Hat Enterprise Linux lifecycle, while we also introduce key new features," she said.
RHEL 7.7 represents the start of the transition of Linux 7.x to Maintenance Phase, which will focus on maintaining infrastructure stability for production environments, as well as enhancing the overall reliability of the operating system.
The company said there will continue to be minor releases to the offering, also focused on stability instead of net new features.
Version 7.x corporate users who feel they need a more feature-rich version of the product should focus on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, rather than Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7, company officials said.