Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is an open source, linux based operating system developed by Red Hat Inc. It is popularly used as server operating system. Its first release was the RHEl 2.1 which was released in the year 2002. After the first version of RHEL, new and better versions quickly followed like RHEL 3,4,5,etc. Now in 2010, the newest version has been released. It is RHEL 6.
Now in this post lets discuss the main advantages of RHEL6 over RHEL5.
RHEL6 being the latest release obviously have a lot of new features.
The advantages are:
• A new level of virtualisation
RHEL6 introduces the use of KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) as its hypervisor. In the earlier releases Xen hypervisor was used. The main advantage of KVM is that a new kernel should not be installed like in Xen. It also supports the installation of many virtual operating systems like Windows, Linux, Solaris,etc. It is easy to manage.
• Ext4 is made the default filesystem
Ext4 has many new advantages than Ext3 which is used in earlier versions of RHEL. Ext4 is comparatively faster and easy to manage. It supports supports up to 100TB with the addition of Scalable Filesystem Add-one.
• Improved level of Security
RHEL6 has advanced level of security. SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux) features are improved and a new set of SELinux rules has been added to provide security to virtual machines from hackers and attackers. This new feature is called SVirt.
• New Networking Features
RHEL6 is released with improved and new networking features. It supportsIPv6. It uses NFSv4 (Network File Transfer) for the sharing of files in the network rather than NFSv3. It also supports iSCSI (internet Small Computer System Interface) partitions. The network manager in RHEL6 supports Wi-Fi capabilities.
• Use of Drivers
RHEL6 has drivers for speeding up operations under KVM, VMware and Xen.
• Increase in the support period provided by Red Hat.
RHEL6 has a long period of support provided by Redhat. It provides updates for 7 years and also extra 3 years of service as paid service. Therefore it means that its period of support is twice the period of support provided by other linux distributors like Ubuntu, Debian, etc.
• Improvements of minor updates
Red Hat releases minor versions such as 6.1, 6.2. These minor versions are the accumulated updates of the major version. The new minor releases will not only contain bug fixes but will also have major changes and new features.
RHEL6 has been released with many new feature which make RHEL6 more useful than RHEL5. RHEL6 is somewhat similar to Fedora 12, so the Fedora users should find RHEL6 familiar. Due to all these reasons the release of RHEL6 is a huge step of advancement and also an achievement in the field of open source.