Channel partners get more features and options to help their customers use the enterprise Linux operating system.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 will soon be available to users, incorporating a wide range of improvements and new features. The latest RHEL release incorporates additional container tools, deeper IT security functions and broad new intelligent management and monitoring capabilities.
The new release also includes improved visibility into IT security and compliance by eliminating manual actions. Also included are new policies and patch services to better define and monitor internal policies.
New enhancements are also being added to the Red Hat Universal Base Image in the latest version. They include OpenJDK and .NET 3.0 for expanded developer choice in building Red Hat certification-ready cloud-native applications. Improved access to source code associated with a given image through a single command is also now featured. That makes it easier for Red Hat partners to meet source code requirements for open source licensing needs.
Other performance improvements include updated resource management with Control Groups v2, which helps limit memory usage. Also provided are improved capabilities for optimizing performance-sensitive workloads through non-uniform memory access (NUMA) and sub-NUMA service policies.
The latest Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) 5.0.2 adds new metrics tools, including new collection agents for Microsoft SQL Server 2019. The tools collect and analyze SQL Server-related metrics, providing a clearer picture for database and operating system tuning.
Also included is a Red Hat subscription watch software-as-a-service tool, which makes it easier to view and manage cloud subscriptions. The tool lets users eye Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform subscriptions across hybrid cloud infrastructure.
For organizations that want to build containers inside of containers for additional isolation and security, there are new options. Containerized versions of Skopeo and Buildah are available in Tech Preview for users who want to experiment with these options.
And for increased security for containerized workloads, also included is Udica, a tool that creates customized, container-centric SELinux security policies. When applied to a workload, Udica reduces the possibility that a process can “break out” of a container and cause problems across other containers or to the host itself.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 will soon be available through Red Hat’s customer portal, though no date has been designated.
“The new capabilities of RHEL 8.2 help our partners be proactive in keeping their build systems and their customer systems up-to-date, thanks to Red Hat Insights,” Scott McBrien, principal technical marketing manager for the product, told Channel Futures. “The container advancements, along with the enhancements to the Red Hat Universal Base Image, make it easier to create cloud-native applications and services that are certification-ready on RHEL, opening up a massive customer base and ecosystem to their solutions.”
For partners and customers, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 forms the backbone of the company’s entire hybrid cloud portfolio, he said. “Advancements in RHEL help drive additional capabilities in Red Hat OpenStack Platform, Red Hat Virtualization, Red Hat OpenShift and more – as RHEL expands, so to do the rest of our products, potentially opening up additional streams of value for our partners.”
Larry Carvalho, an analyst with IDC, said the improvements will help customers better manage their Linux deployments. “Customers strive for automating IT, and monitoring is essential to identify and take corrective action before issues lead to downtime,” he said. “The RHEL 8.2 announcement combines insights with monitoring and makes the job of IT operations simpler in managing large and complex environments that are necessary to meet evolving business needs.”
By removing complexity when running containerized workloads, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 can dramatically help users, said Carvalho. And the company’s acquisition in 2019 by IBM can further help IBM’s customers as well, he added.
“IBM customers get the benefit of simultaneously running legacy workloads, transforming solutions and building new applications with the Red Hat OpenShift container platform,” said Carvalho. “This offers a clear path for architects leading enterprise transformation to adopt new cloud technologies.”
Another analyst, William Weinberg of Open Source Sense, said the insights improvements in RHEL 8.2 are particularly notable. By doing so, it gives IT departments access to operational management and security capabilities to improve visibility and reduce risk. “These same attributes are also a boon to channel partners, especially MSPs and MSSPs), serving the mid-market. Leveraging Red Hat Insights has potential to simplify service provider operations, scale more easily across customer fleets, and improve efficiency and reduce overhead.”
RHEL 8.2 also gives channel partners opportunities to bolster their security offerings around compliance and vulnerability analytics, said Weinberg.
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