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Red Hat announces RHEL 5.4

With both Xen and KVM virtualisation
Wed Sep 02 2009, 18:00

IN A WEBCAST today executives from Red Hat announced details of the latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, RHEL 5.4.

The firm called RHEL 5.4 the foundation of its portfolio of virtualisation solutions, adding that it supports a broad ecosystem of hardware and software while also contributing to Red Hat's vision for the future.

The executives repeatedly discussed how the release fitted into its vision for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation, which it first began talking about in June of this year.

According to Paul Cormier, president of products and technologies, it includes support for both the KVM (kernel-based virtual machine) hypervisor and the Xen hypervisor and gives customers more choice, depending on their requirements. Cormier added that Red Hat will also release a separate standalone virtualisation hypervisor.

Why such an array of VMs? Well, according to Cormier the firm has chosen to include both KVM and Xen in order to give its users a cross-over period, particularly because many of them are happily using the Xen version already. He explained that because RHEL 5 has a ten-year lifecycle the company has decided to stick with Xen, which has only been a feature for two years, at least for the future. Reassuring news for Xen users.

Navin Thadani, senior director for Red Hat's virtualisation business, again explained that this announcement was just the first part of the firm's plans. "RHEL 5.4 sees us integrate with KVM for the first time and support a broad eco-system. This is the foundation for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation," he said.

Separate from the web cast, and possibly more interesting, the firm also announced a number of developer friendly features such as enhancements to the Systemtap performance monitoring toolset, including support for profiling and monitoring C++ applications, and a preview implementation of the multicore processor-specific malloc memory allocation library.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 is available now. µ



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