Red Hat Gives Boost To Virtual Server Support

Launched Tuesday, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 supports virtual servers with up to 32 virtual CPUs and 80 GB of memory, and includes new performance-boosting features such as Hugepage memory and Intel Extended Page Tables (EPT). Red Hat has also bumped physical server support to 126 CPUs and 1 TB of main memory.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 also adds support for Intel Core i7 (a.k.a. Nehalem) processors and OpenJDK, the official open-source core of the Java SE specification. The integration of OpenJDK marks the culmination of a push that began more than 18 months ago to shift Red Hat's development resources away from in-house projects and toward OpenJDK.

In November 2007, Red Hat signed Sun's OpenJDK license agreement and licensed Sun's Java Standard Edition (SE) technology compatibility kit (TCK), essentially paving the way for Red Hat to develop an officially compatible open-source Java Development Kit (JDK) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

While the new additions to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 are noteworthy, the new release shows that Linux purveyors are more focused on performance and new hardware and standards support than they are on adding game-changing new features, according to Gordon Haff, a principal IT adviser at research firm Illuminata.

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"That's not to say that major new features never get added, but the [enterprise Linux] game is much more about blocking and tackling than big plays," Haff said.