Red Hat 8.5 released with SQL Server and .NET 6 ... this is Linux, right?

Containerised Podman and OpenJDK 17 also highlights of minor release


Version 8.5 of Red Hat's Enterprise Linux operating system (RHEL) is out, with updates including .NET 6 and a system role for Microsoft SQL Server, as well as improved container support.

"Red Hat and Microsoft have had a very successful collaboration," product manager Siddharth Nagar told The Register. "SQL Server is a strategic workload for us. We've done a lot of joint work. Microsoft has contributed to the Linux kernel in support of better performance. SQL Server runs very well on Linux and our customers see a lot of value in having the combination."

The ability to run SQL Server on RHEL is not new; what is new is having it supported by a system role. What is a system role? "We are responding to the need for our customers to manage their environments in a standard way," said Nagar.

He referred to skills shortages and said "our customers are having a hard time finding the operations folk who are well versed in the internals of Linux. System roles help us with standardization at scale and addressing the skills gap."

System roles are based on Ansible technology – Red Hat's automation platform – and draws on what Red Hat has learned about "how to optimally tune systems for a particular workload or service," Nagar told us. In other words, it does more than a simple yum install. The full list of system roles includes the Postfix mail transfer agent (MTA) and support for SAP HANA as well as configuration for things such as VPNs (also new in this release), storage, certificates and networking.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5 is fully released

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5 is fully released

Is it a coincidence that the general availability of RHEL 8.5 coincides with the release of Microsoft's .NET 6, which is also included? "A little bit of both... NET 6 is quite a watershed release and as part of us having a more predictable release schedule we want to introduce content based on its natural lifecycle," said Nagar. "The advantage of having minor releases every six months allows us to co-time with release of significant things like .NET."

One thing not on the way though (or not soon) is support for RHEL in Windows Subsystem for Linux. We were told by Matthew Miller, of the Fedora Project, that this is because of Microsoft's onerous requirements for support. "We're evaluating it," said Nagar. "We've received a fair amount of interest but our position hasn't changed."

All these Microsoft things are optional, of course, and the updated RHEL also adds support for OpenJDK 17 and updates to Ruby 3.0, nginx 1.2, Node.js 16, PHP 7.4.19 and more.

Container support is also enhanced. "In 8.5 we've containerised podman," said Nagar. Podman is a tool for running containers as an alternative to Docker. "Having the runtime also available as a container allows you to port that, whether that's from RHEL or CentOS or WSL 2 on Windows, and when you're ready, move it to production. We've also provided signature verification."

Operations teams are concerned about the provenance of container images used by developers, said Nagar, and "the signature verification allows you to check to source and the destination to make sure the image has not been tampered with." This ties in with the Red Hat Container Registry.

RHEL 8.5 is not cutting edge, deliberately so as this is for production workloads that prioritise reliability. RHEL 9 is in beta and expected to release around May next year, Nagar told us, while users can also use CentOS Stream as a preview of what is coming in RHEL (or as a free version for production), or Fedora as the upstream release with the latest technology.

How far behind CentOS is RHEL? Nagar said "RHEL 9 is actually our first major release tied closely to Stream," and did not quite answer our question except to say, "our goal is to be very close in lockstep with CentOS." ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading
  • China-linked Twisted Panda caught spying on Russian defense R&D
    Because Beijing isn't above covert ops to accomplish its five-year goals

    Chinese cyberspies targeted two Russian defense institutes and possibly another research facility in Belarus, according to Check Point Research.

    The new campaign, dubbed Twisted Panda, is part of a larger, state-sponsored espionage operation that has been ongoing for several months, if not nearly a year, according to the security shop.

    In a technical analysis, the researchers detail the various malicious stages and payloads of the campaign that used sanctions-related phishing emails to attack Russian entities, which are part of the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec Corporation.

    Continue reading
  • FTC signals crackdown on ed-tech harvesting kid's data
    Trade watchdog, and President, reminds that COPPA can ban ya

    The US Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said it intends to take action against educational technology companies that unlawfully collect data from children using online educational services.

    In a policy statement, the agency said, "Children should not have to needlessly hand over their data and forfeit their privacy in order to do their schoolwork or participate in remote learning, especially given the wide and increasing adoption of ed tech tools."

    The agency says it will scrutinize educational service providers to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations under COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

    Continue reading
  • Mysterious firm seeks to buy majority stake in Arm China
    Chinese joint venture's ousted CEO tries to hang on - who will get control?

    The saga surrounding Arm's joint venture in China just took another intriguing turn: a mysterious firm named Lotcap Group claims it has signed a letter of intent to buy a 51 percent stake in Arm China from existing investors in the country.

    In a Chinese-language press release posted Wednesday, Lotcap said it has formed a subsidiary, Lotcap Fund, to buy a majority stake in the joint venture. However, reporting by one newspaper suggested that the investment firm still needs the approval of one significant investor to gain 51 percent control of Arm China.

    The development comes a couple of weeks after Arm China said that its former CEO, Allen Wu, was refusing once again to step down from his position, despite the company's board voting in late April to replace Wu with two co-chief executives. SoftBank Group, which owns 49 percent of the Chinese venture, has been trying to unentangle Arm China from Wu as the Japanese tech investment giant plans for an initial public offering of the British parent company.

    Continue reading
  • SmartNICs power the cloud, are enterprise datacenters next?
    High pricing, lack of software make smartNICs a tough sell, despite offload potential

    SmartNICs have the potential to accelerate enterprise workloads, but don't expect to see them bring hyperscale-class efficiency to most datacenters anytime soon, ZK Research's Zeus Kerravala told The Register.

    SmartNICs are widely deployed in cloud and hyperscale datacenters as a means to offload input/output (I/O) intensive network, security, and storage operations from the CPU, freeing it up to run revenue generating tenant workloads. Some more advanced chips even offload the hypervisor to further separate the infrastructure management layer from the rest of the server.

    Despite relative success in the cloud and a flurry of innovation from the still-limited vendor SmartNIC ecosystem, including Mellanox (Nvidia), Intel, Marvell, and Xilinx (AMD), Kerravala argues that the use cases for enterprise datacenters are unlikely to resemble those of the major hyperscalers, at least in the near term.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022