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Red Hat rollout parade led by Enterprise Linux 9

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Red Hat Inc. is kicking off its Red Hat Summit conference in Boston today with a sweeping set of announcements anchored by version nine of its flagship Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 is the first production release to be built on CentOS Stream, a continuously delivered Linux distribution that previews features that will be incorporated into RHEL. CentOS Stream is a replacement for the Community Enterprise Linux Operating System that Red Hat acquired in 2014 and abruptly discontinued in 2020, an announcement that was not well-received by CentOS users.

Expanded edge features

RHEL 9 will be available through major cloud provider marketplaces and includes new management features that address the growing need for intelligence on devices at the edge of the network. These features help customers securely manage and scale RHEL on distributed devices from a single interface and detect failed updates to software containers with automatic rollback to the most recent good configuration.

A simplified installer has been added to deploy edge systems with greater security at any location. Technology preview support for FIDO Device Onboarding reduces deployment times by cryptographically verifying systems and creating a secure channel for configuration and onboarding to a management platform. There’s also support for Gnome Kiosk Mode, which provides a lightweight graphical desktop environment for single-application uses such as payment terminals.

Improvements to Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus help simplify edge device deployment with a set of more consistent capabilities, highlighted by zero-touch provisioning for Red Hat OpenShift 4.10. Original equipment manufacturers can pre-load a relocatable Red Hat OpenShift cluster on their preferred hardware and deliver it to their customers as a pre-installed OpenShift cluster for such uses as setting up radio access networks.

Red Hat’s Ansible automation platform is taking on an expanded set of system roles in RHEL 9 to provide an automated workflow for creating specific configurations. New roles include Postfix, high-availability clusters, firewall, Microsoft Corp. SQL Server and web console. Live kernel patching is now supported from the Linux web console, allowing updates to be applied across large, distributed system deployments without the need for command-line tooling. RHEL 9 is also built with the GNU Compiler Collection 11 and the latest versions of LLVM, Rust and Go compilers.

Simplified supply chains

In an effort to simplify the process of implementing security features throughout the build, deploy and run process, Red Hat is also introducing a preview of a software supply chain security pattern, which delivers complete stacks as code and defines, builds and validates the necessary software configurations. The goal is to bring together the components needed to build cloud-native applications from trusted components.

The pattern uses a continuous integration/continuous delivery or CI/CD pipeline managed by the Kubernetes container orchestrator through Red Hat OpenShift Pipelines and Red Hat OpenShift GitOps for version control. Tekton Chains, which is a security subsystem of the Kubernetes Tekton CI/CD pipeline, incorporates Sigstore, a new open-source project that provides an automated approach to digitally signing and checking software components to verify origins and authenticity.

In addition, Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform 2.2 includes a technical preview of Ansible content signing technology that enhances software supply chain security by allowing automation teams to validate automation content.

Simpler cloud development

In the area of cloud services, announcements include an OpenShift Service Registry to help development teams publish, discover and reuse application programming interfaces; OpenShift Connectors for pre-built connectivity to a variety of third-party systems we well as no-code integration with Red Hat Openshift Streams for Apache Kafka; and OpenShift Database Access, which delivers a consistent database-as-a-service experience across hybrid cloud environments.

Enhancements to the OpenShift Data Science managed cloud service for data scientists and developers make the service available as an add-on for OpenShift Dedicated and the OpenShift Service for the Amazon Web Services Inc. cloud. OpenShift Streams for Apache Kafka now supports granular identity and access management along with access to metrics and monitoring dashboards. OpenShift API Management has improved support for security and compliance standards including certification with Payment Card Industry, ISO, and SOC2 standards.

Red Hat’s autonomous vehicle aspirations will also get a boost today with the announcement of a partnership with General Motors Corp. to jointly expand the ecosystem around the Red Hat In-Vehicle Operating System, a safety-certified Linux operating system foundation that will undergird GM’s Ultifi in-vehicle software platform. This will enable both companies to offer new features responsibly in a fraction of the typical development time, Red Hat said.

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