Red Hat updates enterprise Linux platform

Red Hat is announcing availability Wednesday of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2, with enhancements in virtualization, clustering, and hardware support.

Version 5.2 was described as a minor update by Red Hat's Daniel Riek, product marketing manager for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

"We do these twice-a-year updates," Riek said.

With the release, virtualization of very large systems with as many as 64 CPUs and 512GB of memory is possible. Support for NUMA architectures is featured as well as improvements in security, performance, and management, Red Hat said.

CPU frequency scaling is offered for virtualized environments and for reduction of  power consumption. Also, enhanced capabilities are featured for such hardware architectures as Intel X/86/x86-64, Itanium, and IBM Power and System z. These capabilities provide for improved performance, power usage, scaling, and manageability, Red Hat said.

Support for Intel's Dynamic Acceleration Technology permits power saving by "quiescing" idle CPU cores, Red Hat said. With quiescing, a computer is put into an inactive state to save power but can be reactivated quickly because it is still available and has not been completely shut down.

Also, performance is improved by "overclocking" of busy cores within safe thermal levels. Other hardware enhancements include device driver updates and certification of IBM Cell Blade systems.

A smarter scripting facility boosts clustering in version 5.2, said Riek. "The ability to talk to the applications that are being clustered has been improved," he said.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 Desktop, meanwhile, includes enhanced support for laptop suspend/hibernate and resume, updated graphics drivers, and an update of desktop applications including OpenOffice 2.3 and Firefox v3.

Red Hat Linux 5.2 is available Wednesday via a Red Hat Network subscription.

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