Red Hat today formally announced the availability of its highly anticipated next-generation Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL 7) platform, which has been in development since 2010. Among its features, RHEL 7 includes a new filesystem that can scale to 500 terabytes as well as support for Docker container virtualization technology.
Docker did not exist when RHEL 7 development first kicked off in 2010. The Docker container open-source project got its start in 2013 and has since emerged to become one of the hottest areas of enterprise virtualization technology. Docker 1.0 was officially released on June 9, and it is now being fully supported inside of RHEL 7.
While Red Hat is now embracing Docker containers as a virtualization technology within RHEL 7, it isn’t abandoning the Kernel-mode Virtual Machine (KVM) virtualization hypervisor. When RHEL 6 debuted in 2010, Red Hat moved to KVM and left its Xen hypervisor customers behind, with support only on the prior RHEL 5 platform. Dumas noted that a lot of work has been done in KVM for RHEL 7, including support for live storage migration as well as scalability and performance enhancements.
Since the first Red Hat Linux release, Red Hat has been using the EXT filesystem (with EXT 4 in RHEL 6) as the default. In RHEL 7, that now shifts to the XFS filesystem, providing users with a filesystem that can scale up to 500TB.