Release: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1

Open source vendor Red Hat announced on May 19th the general availability of the first update of its distribution, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1

This release introduces bugfixes and security updates over RHEL 6, released in November last year, while keeping application compatibility and ISV/IHV certifications.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 provides new features, including:

  • Additional configuration options for advanced storage configurations with improvements in FCoE, Datacenter Bridging and iSCSI offload
  • Enhancements in file systems, scheduler, resource management and high availability
  • A technology preview of Red Hat Enterprise Identity (IPA) services, based on the open source FreeIPA project
  • Support for automatic failover for virtual machines and applications using the Red Hat High Availability Add-On
  • Integrated developer tools that provide the ability to write, debug, profile and deploy applications without leaving the graphical environment
  • Improvements to network traffic processing to leverage multi-processor servers that are getting increasingly common

With regards to virtualization, the following improvements have been announced:

  • KVM guests can share identical memory pages using Kernel SamePage Merging (KSM)
  • Block I/O latency improvements
  • PCI configuration space access is improved, enabling a broader set of PCI devices to be device-assigned to guest VMs.

With RHEL 6.1, Red Hat tries to set a new boundary in virtualization performance (with dedicated hardware setup) using the KVM hypervisor, announcing the set of SPECvirt_sc2010 record. However, it must be kept in mind that SPEC records are based on tests performed by the vendors, and then sent to SPEC Benchmark site for publication.

Red Hat, among other Vendors such as IBM, HP and Intel , also announced the foundation of the Open Virtualization Alliance, which is a joint effort in promoting KVM as an open virtualization alternative to proprietary solutions.