Red Hat is out today with the latest version of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL) platform, and the company is now also providing support for users of the newer Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 to run RHEL 6 apps in a container.
RHEL 6.6 is the latest iteration of the RHEL 6 platform that first debuted in November of 2010. In June of this year, Red Hat launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 as RHEL 6’s successor. The new RHEL 6.6 release benefits from some of RHEL 7’s innovations.
Steve Almy, product manager for Red Hat’s Platform Business Unit, explained to ServerWatch that in In RHEL 6.6, Red Hat has added support to enable a cross-realm Kerberos trust, through a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 server.
“By setting up an identity management server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 clients can interoperate with that server and take advantage of the Active Directory / Identity Management cross realm trust that is available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7,” Almy commented.
RHEL 6.6 also benefits from the Performance Co-Pilot feature that was also first introduced in RHEL 7. Almy noted that with Performance Co-Pilot, Red Hat customers can monitor performance across a set of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and 7 servers in a single, consistent approach.
Additionally, Almy said that Red Hat has updated packages for High Availability to match those in RHEL 7.
“HAProxy and keepalived are now consistent with those in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, and fully-supported,” Almy said.
RHEL 6.6 will also benefit from performance improvements that allow for more efficient locking and better CPU utilization.
“These are in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 as well, and will benefit customers running on large NUMA systems in both Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and 7,” Almy commented.
RHEL 6 Containers
While Red Hat is bringing some RHEL 7 features down to RHEL 6.6, it is also making it easier for users to migrate as well. Red Hat is now providing a supported container feature in RHEL 7 that will enable RHEL 6 applications to run without any changes.
Bhavna Sarathy, technology product manager in the Platform Business Unit at Red Hat, explained to ServerWatch that the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 platform image provides the necessary runtime elements needed to run a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 application, inside a Docker-formatted container on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 host.
“With the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 image, the application and other dependencies can be layered on top of it, forming a complete containerized application,” Sarathy said.
As to why RHEL 6 applications cannot just simply run natively on RHEL 7, Sarathy explained that applications that were built and certified to run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 have to be rebuilt and re-certified to run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, as the software stack between the two major releases is vastly different.
“With the Linux Containers feature providing application packaging in Docker format in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 platform image allows a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 application to run ‘as is’ in a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 container running on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 host,” Sarathy said.
“Customers will see performance improvements resulting from running on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 host with newer hardware capabilities built into the kernel,” Sarathy continued.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.