Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5 Adds Insights Services, New 'System Roles'

IBM subsidiary Red Hat, one of the world’s leading providers of open-source solutions, has announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5 (RHEL 8.5) the latest incarnation of its enterprise Linux platform.

RHEL 8.5 builds on Red Hat’s 20+ years of Linux expertise to provide a common, open operating system that extends from clouds and traditional datacenter operations to edge-computing environments. It's a platform that was designed to span public cloud providers, multiple hardware architectures, virtualized environments, and edge computing models.

"Linux is the common language spoken across nearly every public cloud, private cloud, edge deployment, and datacenter," Gunnar Hellekson, general manager of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Group, said in a statement. "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5 reinforces the role of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform in the multi-cloud ecosystem, providing new capabilities to meet evolving and complex IT needs, from enhanced cloud-native container innovations to extending Linux skills with system roles, on whatever footprint our customers require."

Red Hat is a long-time supporter of hybrid multi-cloud deployments in which users can "make the vision of any application, anywhere, a reality by choosing the right environment and technologies that build on a flexible, more consistent foundation." This focus has resulted in a common Linux foundation, "tailored for the rigors of traditional datacenters" as well as the complexities of multi-cloud and edge computing deployments, a necessity for digital transformation."

The latest version of the platform extends Red Hat Insights services, a software-as-a-service offering that enables users to obtain actionable intelligence on their RHEL environments, and builds on existing container management capabilities, making it easier for IT teams to set up workload-specific systems "wherever they may exist across a multi-cloud world."

The Red Hat Insights services feature is available by default on almost all RHEL subscriptions. In version 8.5 of the platform, Red Hat adds new capabilities around vulnerability, compliance, and remediation designed to help organizations more effectively manage RHEL environments across multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments, "even when it comes to nuanced security or compliance scenarios."

RHEL 8.5 also includes features for making containerized applications easier to use and manage, including: faster image creation through rootless OverlayFS; full support for containerized Podman in continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) systems, as well as other operating environments; native integration with cgroup2 for better resource utilization; and default container image signature verification, which verifies the integrity of container images at installation and confirms that images are pulled from the Red Hat Container Registry and have not been tampered with since signing.

To help address the complexity of modern IT environments that span multiple public clouds, virtualized environments, private clouds, on-premises servers, and edge devices (while extending the existing skillsets of both new and seasoned IT operations team), this release introduces RHEL "system roles." System roles are preset configurations for RHEL systems, enabling IT teams to more easily and rapidly support specific workloads from the cloud to the edge.

The current list of system roles includes:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux system role for Microsoft SQL Server, making it easier for IT and database administrators to install, configure and tune SQL Server to their specific needs in an automated fashion.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux system role for virtual private networking (VPN) helps to reduce the time it takes to configure VPN tunnels, improving consistency and reducing the risk of misconfigurations, which can be a common factor in IT security incidents.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux system role for Postfix automates and standardizes the configuration for Postfix mail servers, skipping manual steps while still enabling customization.

RHEL 8.5 also adds support for OpenJDK 17 and .NET Core 6 for developers "looking to modernize and build next-generation applications." Red Hat is a long-time contributor to the Java community. The Red Hat build of OpenJDK is a free and open-source implementation of the Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE).

In the announcement of the RHEL 8.5 release, the company cites a recent study by Andreessen Horowitz, which found that organizations are realizing that using public cloud exclusively may not be economically feasible, long-term. The company also points to a Gartner report, which predicts that, by 2026, public cloud spending will exceed 45% of all enterprise IT spending, up from less than 17% in 2021."

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5 is now generally available through the Red Hat Customer Portal.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].