Red Hat Unveils Next Advanced Server, Workstation Editions

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At the Enterprise Linux Forum here, Red Hat unveiled plans to ship an Advanced Server upgrade with carrier-grade features in mid to late 2003.

The company also launched at the show a Red Hat workstation release designed for advanced server due in the first quarter of 2003.

Advanced Server 3.0, the first upgrade to the company's front-line server operating system, is slated to ship in July or August, company officials said. Features geared for the telecom industry and enterprise users will include better application portability and performance, a logical volume manager. Also planned are support for POSIX-compliant threading, diskless blade systems, improved clustering and failover beyond two-nodes, improved responsiveness, advanced debugging and systems analysis, and additional high-availability clustering. Those features will support higher scalability and reliability for next-generation wireless and wireline communications infrastructure, the company said.

After delivering a keynote address, Red Hat Chairman, President and CEO Matthew Szulik said over time the advanced server will become more modular, add support for advanced multithreading, a clustered file system and improved manageability. However, he didn't discuss a carrier-grade version, only a planned upgrade to Advanced Server, which first shipped in the spring.

"We'd like to drive down the cost of high-performance computing," Szulik said, noting that a clustered file system is key for enterprise corporations deploying Linux on thousands of clustered servers. "That's not trivial work."

Red Hat also plans to improve manageability in the next Advanced Server via its recent acquisition of NOCpulse, Szulik said. The NOCpulse technology will enable Red Hat to serve up more managed services, provisioning and monitoring to enterprise customers, he said.

During his keynote, Szulik lauded Linux's evolution into an enterprise operating system that supports up to eight-way systems and enterprise applications. Attributing much of the platform's success to the Linux 2.4 kernel, he wouldn't say whether the next-generation Red Hat Advanced Server would be based on the upcoming Linux 2.6 kernel. "It's undecided," he said.

Seven out of 10 major financial institutions today are running Red Hat Linux Advanced Server, which is becoming more widely deployed as "CIOs are faced with a challenge of doing more with less [money," Szulik said.

Red Hat also expanded its enterprise product portfolio by releasing a new workstation that's compatible with Red Hat Linux Advanced Server. The workstation, which follows the recent Red Hat 8.0 upgrade for consumers, offers advanced application development and deployment as well as features aimed at the electronic design automation and digital content creation markets, the company said.

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