Red Hat Enterprise Linux upgrade due next month

FRAMINGHAM (09/26/2003) - Red Hat Inc. will release a new version of its enterprise Linux operating system next month, marking the starting point of a product road map that the company detailed this week.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 will add a default Logical Volume Manager for storage management, as well as support for the new Native Posix Threading Library. That means the operating system will support thousands of program-instruction threads rather than hundreds, making it more scalable and expanding its multitasking capabilities, according to Red Hat.

"That's really going to change the use of Linux for application servers," said Brian Stevens, vice president of operating systems development at the Raleigh, N.C.-based company.

A high-availability cluster component is expected for the operating system later this year, and integrated storage management and virtualization components will arrive by 2005, Stevens said.

Tom Pratt, information systems manager at Coastal Transportation Inc., said he has looked at the new Red Hat operating system and will eventually upgrade to it. The Seattle-based shipping company currently runs desktop versions of Red Hat Linux and is eager to take advantage of the enterprise version's longer release cycles and related ease of maintenance, Pratt said. Also attractive in the new operating system is its improved memory management, he said.

The new operating system, which is based on the Linux 2.4.21 kernel, replaces the existing Red Hat Advanced Server product line and will support up to 16 CPUs and up to 64GB of memory. That's up from eight CPUs and 16GB of memory supported by the previous version.

The upcoming Linux Kernel 2.6 is still in the early stages of development and probably won't be included by Red Hat until the next version of the enterprise server operating system, Version 4, is released late next year, Stevens said. Work continues on Kernel 2.6 to give it support for thousands of SCSI devices, up from today's limit of 256, he said.

Pricing for the new operating system hasn't yet been announced.

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