Just days after the Open Infrastructure Summit closed its doors in Denver, the Red Hat Summit commenced in Boston with the company announcing the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8, the latest version of the Linux deployment “designed to span the breadth of deployments across enterprise IT,” according to a Red Hat statement. RHEL 8 launches with a number of new features intended to make the system easier to manage, wherever it’s deployed, whether through automation, analytics, or even simply a new web interface for system administrators.
In an interview with The New Stack, Gunnar Hellekson, director of product management at Red Hat, expanded on that idea to say that a primary theme behind RHEL 8 is that of the familiar refrain of enabling hybrid and multicloud environments.
“RHEL is coming to coming to the party with a considerable partner ecosystem that’s tens of thousands of certified hardware configurations underneath and several thousand applications certified on top,” he said.
“We’re supported by over a thousand cloud service providers and the way we think about our job and RHEL is to ensure that RHEL is delivering a consistent experience regardless of what infrastructure customers are running on,” said Hellekson. He notes that the software is supported by over 1,000 cloud providers, so the company works to provide a consistent experience across all of them.
“So, if you’re running on x86 or ARM, you’re getting the same enterprise Linux. You shouldn’t have to make trade-offs when you move from on-premise to the cloud, and RHEL is actually what enables that. RHEL is the first enabler of that because all of the other products like, OpenStack, Red Hat virtualization, OpenShift, all rely on RHEL to deliver that consistent experience,” he said.
To this end, RHEL 8 has unveiled several new features, including bundling pre-existing features into RHEL, such as the case with Red Hat Insights. With RHEL 8, Insights now comes as part of a RHEL subscription, using predictive analytics to provide its users with what the company calls “expertise as-a-service” — in hopefully a far less annoying manner than Clippy — in order to prevent downtime and “proactively identify and remediate IT issues, from security vulnerabilities to stability problems.”
Second, RHEL 8 introduces Red Hat Smart Management, which the company says combines Red Hat Satellite for on-premise systems management with cloud management services to provide “a single capability to manage, patch, configure and provision Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployments across the hybrid cloud.”
Next, RHEL 8 looks to provide a single location to handle various sysadmin tasks with its RHEL web console, which the company says “provides an intuitive, consistent graphical interface for managing and monitoring Red Hat Enterprise Linux system, from the health of virtual machines to overall system performance.”
Finally, RHEL 8 introduces System Roles, which use Ansible to deliver “ready-made automated workflows for handling common, complex sysadmin tasks” to provide automation and reduce human error. Hellekson explains that System Roles provides that consistent experience not only across environments, but also through time and version updates.
“System Roles allow us to automate some complex administration tasks and to create consistency in that automation across major versions. If somebody uses a DNS system role to manage their DNS configurations, the automation that they build will be transferable from RHEL 7 to RHEL 8 and then later from RHEL 9 to 10, so that people don’t have to completely retool every time they introduce a new version of the operating system,” said Hellekson. “Just like we provided a kernel stability promise for the hardware guys, we provided an API stability promise for the application folks, now we’re providing a stability promise for management.”
Red Hat will discuss these RHEL 8 updates at the company’s annual user conference, Red Hat Summit, being held in Boston this week.
Red Hat is a sponsor of The New Stack.
Feature image via Red Hat.