Wednesday, July 7, 2010

RHEL 6 all set to bid bub-Bye To XEN and eye-TAY-nee-əm!!

This April we saw one more (.dot)5 release on RHEL5. Post which CentOS 5.5 also got release which I could download and install. With the recent Beta2 release from RedHat probably by end of this year, RHEL 6 should be able to hit the market. But with release notes from both this Beta - it does not seem like, we should expect any killer new feature or application.

RHEL 6 includes the ext4 file system as its default - where along with bigger file-system capability, ext4's multiblock allocation, and faster fsck/defragmentation would be something really worthy to experience and I too personally is very much excited. Red Hat is also making the XFS file system part of the RHEL 6 for the sake of customers who need to support very large files and directory sizes.

Not only this, this time there is also a considerable improvement on Windows management tools and a new graphical user interface for joining Windows Domains though.

Also, RHEL 6 is much talked about on it's scalability front, theoretically up to 64,000 cores and 256TB of main memory, 128TB for the kernel and 128TB for the user-space for physical memory addressing. I am not sure, if someone would be really able to test this up - and that's why probably I said 'Theoretically" :-)

Anyway coming back to the subject line - this giant who is also a major contributor of enterprise Linux has actually dropped two overload with this release -

First of all , as expected XEN will NOT be shipped any more with RHEL starting with 6, which was almost known to everyone after Citrix Systems acquired XenSource, Inc in October 2007. Dropping Xen will free Red Hat from the substantial work involved in maintaining two hypervisor code bases . But how much pain will it incur to upgrade /adopt KVM is still too early to speculate.

Secondly, there will be no more support for Itanium-based servers(Itanium's biggest cheerleader being Hewlett-Packard!!), much the same way as Window's had planned with it 's new upcoming public releases on server side. This is something to be worry about if you have quite good amount of servers in your DataCenter. But NOT really if your are satisfied with current RHEL5 which is a perfectly fine operating system.

So lets stay tuned !! - May be it is coming with some real good surprise which we don't know yet :-)


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