New version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) debuts

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The newest version Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) quietly assumed its place in the ranks on Monday.It’s easy to take certain things in life for granted. They come around, then come around again, then come around again, and so forth. It’s sort of like how every summer there’s a blockbuster action movie starring Tom Cruise. Sometimes it’s even a franchise blockbuster action movie starring Tom Cruise, like with this summer’s release of the sixth Mission: Impossible movie, Fallout.

(Did you realize that there have already been five other Mission: Impossible movies with Tom Cruise in them? Because there have already been five other Mission: Impossible movies with Tom Cruise in them. That dude is relentless.)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is sort of like the Tom Cruise of commercial-grade, server-side Linux operating systems. Since 2002, there have been six major releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The most recent major milestone in the release timeline was June 10, 2014, which is when RHEL 7 first entered the marketplace.

RHEL 7 is still enough of a going concern that there’s not even a long-range forecast for RHEL 8. It’s going to get here eventually, but this is like one of those years when Tom Cruise makes a one-off, or does a lesser franchise movie like Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. The new RHEL released this week is RHEL 7.5.

So yeah, this is more of a fine-tuning and tweaking release. This is Red Hat opening up the hood of it classic muscle car and fiddling with the starter. You don’t do it because the car won’t start. But what if it could start, you know, better?

For the benefit of businesses that already run RHEL 7, Red Hat has also released a summary of changes document that briefly dissects the changes. These have been grouped under six different headings, Security and Compliance, Performance and Efficiency, Platform Manageability, Stability and Reliability, Multiplatform Support, and Application Experience.

The breadth and quantity of changes is greatest in the Security and Compliance neck of the woods, where, for example, RHEL 7.5 boasts “enhanced container security” that breaks down into three separate upgrades: integration of popular security and compliance configurations into containers, increase security of third-part containers, and improved container host security.

And business managers ought to be particularly pleased with the storage optimization built into 7.5 that is designed to “reduce the costs of data in the cloud and on-premise by up to 83%.” (This is covered under the Performance and Efficiency heading.)

RHEL 8 will come around one of these days. When it does, many in business probably won’t even realize how long they’ve been taking the consistent excellence of RHEL 7 for granted.

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