Hot on the heels of the arrival of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.7, Red Hat has released the next version of its RHEL 9 family, RHEL 9.1.
What's the difference? Why two versions of one enterprise Linux distro? While under the hood there are many specific differences, the big one is that the RHEL 8 distro family is based on older, battle-tried code. RHEL 9, however, is based on the leading-edge CentOS Stream Linux distribution. So, in short, RHEL 8 is what you use if you prefer stability over innovation, while RHEL 9 is the distro for those who want the latest and greatest stable code.
For example, as Gunnar Hellekson, Red Hat's RHEL VP and general manager, put it, "As enterprise IT expands to encompass traditional hardware, multiple public cloud environments, and edge devices, complexity grows in parallel. The latest versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux continue our commitment to making hybrid cloud computing more than just accessible, but successful at the scale of global business by pairing reliability and stability with features designed for innovation and flexibility."
RHEL 9.1 also puts security front and center. This is a good thing with security disasters on every side of us.
Also: RHEL and its Linux relatives and rivals: How to choose
Specifically, RHEL 9.1 and 8.7 come with pre-configured Linux images designed to meet specific OpenSCAP security demands. OpenSCAP is an open-source project for scanning programs for security problems and setting up default security configurations. For instance, the default RHEL 9.x OpenSCAP is set to use Postfix as the standard e-mail server with specific configurations to make it safer for use. It also discourages you from using the tried and true, but not terribly secure, Sendmail server.
The new RHEL also includes multi-level security (MLS) support for agencies or other sensitive operations to better document and control classification needs. Red Hat Insights, Red Hat's security service, which comes with RHEL, also boasts a malware detector. In addition, RHEL now comes with the Sigstore Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) service to double-check your native container for unauthorized programs.
For people who are serious about security, you want to use RHEL's SELInux mode. This newest release comes with SELinux 3.4. The most important changes include:
Put together, this makes SELinux easier to use and more secure than ever.
Returning to Insights, Red Hat Smart Management now combines Red Hat Satellite, the operating system's default manual configuration and management tool, with Insight's remediation plans. That makes it easier to run recommended, repetitive life cycle management tasks.
If you prefer, you can also use the latest Ansible DevOps to run your RHEL 9.1 instances. One new feature I especially like with this edition of Ansible is you can remotely verify an RHEL system's boot environment. Again, it's all about security.
Also: Linux devices 'increasingly' under attack from hackers
As always, the latest RHEL comes with the latest coding tools, container tools, computer languages, compilers, open-source databases, and web and cache servers.
Finally, you have more time to plan your RHEL life cycle upgrades. RHEL makes it simpler to plan your long-term operating system needs by supporting two-year Extended Update Support (EUS). Specifically, Leapp now supports in-place upgrades to the latest versions of RHEL, while Convert2RHEL now supports more flexible simultaneous landing releases.
Ready to deliver RHEL 9.1 a twirl? If you already have an RHEL subscription, you can get it via the Red Hat Customer Portal. For more down-and-dirty details, check out the RHEL 9.1 release notes and technical blog posts.
If you haven't switched over to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 9 family, and your company lives and dies with RHEL, then chances are you're running RHEL 8.x. If that's you, pay attention because the latest version, RHEL 8.7, has just arrived at a obtain site near you.
Why make a move at all? It's not like RHEL 8.6 is going to fall apart on you. That's true, but the latest RHEL does come with bigger, better security features. And, unless you've been hiding your head in the sand for the last few years, you know security attacks are happening more than ever.
Also: Linux devices 'increasingly' targeted by hackers
Specifically, Red Hat is implementing new built-in authentication and security features. These are:
Red Hat is also improving its Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) with Secure Software Supply Chain methodologies. Red Hat did this by adopting Sigstore, the well-regarded open-source software signing service for its build pipelines and tools. This makes RHEL and the programs built within it much more trustworthy.
The company is also incorporating Sigstore into its Podman, its Open Containers Initiative (OCI) rival to Docker. Since Podman works natively with Kubernetes, the incredibly popular cloud orchestration tool, it's become very popular in its own right.
If securing your software isn't reason enough for you, keep in mind that SBOMs are now required by government regulation and presidential decree. SBOMs are not just a good idea; they're the law.
Also: Linux is not just for developers and command line pros
In addition, RHEL's Network Security Services (NSS) libraries now require all RSA secure keys to be at least 1023 bits. This, perforce, makes all your encrypted keys stronger.
Beyond these, and other minor, security fixes, RHEL has also moved to a new Linux kernel. It now runs with the 4.18.0-425 kernel version.
Of course, the new RHEL also includes the latest coding tools, container tools, computer languages, compilers, open-source databases, and web and cache servers. It wouldn't be an RHEL release without them. These include:
RHEL also includes Application Streams. With each of these, your programmers can use different versions of software. This allows the user to use whichever version best suits their needs. These user-space components are delivered and updated more frequently than the core operating system packages.
Your developers will be thrilled to see these ready to run in their toolchains.
Finally, it's easier than ever to upgrade from one version of RHEL to the next. Leapp, Red Hat's upgrade tool, now supports in-place upgrades for two two-year Extended Update Support (EUS) periods. So, for example, you can easily shift from RHEL 7.9 to 8.4 or 8.6, 8.6 to 9.0. This gives you two years to understand and plan for your upgrades. The related tool, Convert2RHEL, also now supports similar upgrades from CentOS Linux to RHEL updates. For instance, from CentOS Linux 7.9 to RHEL 7.9 and from CentOS Linux 8.4 to RHEL 8.4.
Taken all-in-all, RHEL 8.7 is an impressive step forward for RHEL users. I'd deliver serious consideration to moving to it sooner rather than later. The Sigstore support alone makes it a top upgrade priority in my book.
SiliconRepublic.com headed to Red Hat Ireland Day to find out about the projects the company works on within the country.
Open-source enterprise software company Red Hat has three offices across Ireland, one in Cork, one in Waterford and one in Dublin.
The Cork location focuses on finance, while the Waterford office comes from the company’s €63.5m acquisition of WIT spin-out FeedHenry back in 2014.
Meanwhile, Red Hat’s Dublin office operates as a central location for the company’s distributed team.
The nature of Red Hat’s open-source technology means it helps partner companies with digital transformation projects. To find out more, SiliconRepublic.com headed down to the Red Hat Ireland Day on 22 November to speak to some of its senior leaders.
Keith Lynch, the country manager for Ireland, heads up the customer and partner-facing functions of the business. “We’re kind of where the rubber meets the road with Red Hat products and customers, where we’re working with our customers and delivering their projects.”
About one-third of Red Hat’s team in Ireland are in engineering and technical roles, and many of these roles are remote and based around the country.
James Mernin, director of software engineering at Red Hat, said the engineering team works with technology spanning right across the company’s portfolio, from Red Hat Enterprise Linux to OpenShift and cloud services.
“We’ve some very strong relationships with the universities in Ireland and we have a growing internship pipeline and many of the new recruits are coming from local universities,” he said.
“Also, quite recently, we have some school children coming in for work experience during their transition year, helping them to make an informed decision about what they might like to do for their careers. And many of them, I’m glad to say, are choosing a career in IT.”
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Organizations need to develop and deploy applications quickly, flexibly, and reliably to keep pace with rapidly changing business needs. Red Hat and Amazon Web Services (AWS) can help organizations change the way they build, deploy, and manage applications with optimized hybrid cloud environments so they can innovate faster and operate more efficiently. This executive checklist explores four key benefits of using Red Hat solutions on AWS.
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Start by creating an Azure resource group via the command below using the Azure command-line interface. The below example creates a resource group named aks-group in the eastus location. A new resource group isn’t necessarily required unless you have one you’d already like to use.
az group create --name aks-group --location eastus
In this example, create an AKS cluster named myAKSCluster in the “aks-group” resource group that you created previously. We will also enable managed identity (--enable-managed-identity) and monitoring (--enable-addons monitoring).
az aks create -g aks-group -n myAKSCluster --enable-managed-identity --node-count 1 --enable-addons monitoring --enable-msi-auth-for-monitoring --generate-ssh-keys
FIND OUT: If you should add containers to your virtual machine environment.
Now that you have an AKS cluster, you can install Ansible. The easiest way to install Ansible is to use pip, a package management system that simplifies the process of installing and managing software packages.
To install Ansible using pip, ensure you have Python installed and run the below command.
python3 -m pip install --user ansible
Create a manifest file named azure-vote.yaml. Google “Azure vote Kubernetes” and you should find the manifest file contents necessary to deploy a demonstration application. This manifest file contains all the metadata required to deploy the application. Using a manifest file allows you to version your application and makes it easy to deploy.
When you have a manifest built, run the kubectl apply command to deploy the application and you should have your first application running on AKS.
kubectl apply -f azure-vote.yaml
EXPLORE: Whether businesses should consider open-source container tools.
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CACI International Inc has joined the Red Hat Embedded Partner Program. Through this program, CACI and Red Hat will collaborate to deliver an enterprise scalable, Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) mobility solution using CACI’s Archon product line with Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a foundation to provide a sophisticated customer experience. As both a CSfC Trusted Integrator and CSfC Solution Provider, CACI’s Archon offers capabilities that enable secure remote access to classified environments with turnkey onboarding and administration.
Glenn Kurowski, CACI Chief Technology Officer, said, “Red Hat is a valuable partner for CACI. We embed Red Hat Enterprise Linux in many of our mission technology products as well as Red Hat OpenShift for application development and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform for efficiency across our Network Modernization efforts. Extending our collaboration with Red Hat enables CSfC at an enterprise scale, with flexibility not seen previously in the CSfC space, for faster migrations and enterprise adoption with more efficient operation.”
CACI’s Archon product builds upon the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, to create industries-only end-to-end CSfC solutions in the marketplace. Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides the foundation for the Archon product line. The Archon client products use Red Hat’s rpm-ostree technology to provide atomic updates to the edge, enabling enterprise consistency, and compliance.
Dylan Conner, Senior Vice President and Product Manager for CACI’s Archon, said, “Our collaboration with Red Hat as an Embedded Partner enables more seamless integration of their technologies into our platform, allowing us to provide our customers with an enterprise-grade CSfC mobility solution. We’ve simplified the entire solution, while steadfastly meeting CSfC requirements, to help organizations overcome the scaling and management problems historically seen in these types of solutions.”
Chris Gray, Vice President, North America Partner Ecosystem, Red Hat, said, “Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers a powerful foundation to drive innovation across the open hybrid cloud with the flexibility and hardened capabilities needed to support our customers and partners at the farthest edge. Collaborating with CACI to drive security-enhanced mission-critical workloads on Red Hat Enterprise Linux allows our joint customers to scale into the future with greater confidence.”
CACI and Red Hat are members of the Government Technology & Services Coalition, a non-profit organization for government contractors in the homeland security market.
Read more at CACI
Industry-leading open source solutions, including Red Hat OpenShift Data Science and Red Hat OpenShift Streams for Apache Kafka, are now publicly available in AWS Marketplace
RALEIGH, N.C., November 29, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced an expansion of its open solutions publicly available in AWS Marketplace, a digital catalog with thousands of software listings from independent software vendors that make it easy to find, test, buy, and deploy software that runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Furthering Red Hat’s commitment to customer choice and flexibility across the open hybrid cloud, customers can now use committed AWS spend to purchase and run Red Hat offerings directly through AWS Marketplace. This provides customers with an easier path to digital transformation and more efficient operations, while being better able to meet dynamic market demands.
According to Gartner®, "by 2025, 51% of IT spending in these four categories [application software, infrastructure software, business process services and system infrastructure] will have shifted from traditional solutions to the public cloud, compared to 41% in 2022."1 Red Hat understands that to answer this shift, customer needs must be met wherever they exist, in the datacenter, at the edge or in public clouds.
In response, Red Hat has expanded the public availability of its open hybrid cloud technologies in AWS Marketplace. Any organization seeking to build an open foundation on the cloud can now turn to solutions delivered directly by Red Hat.
Red Hat Cloud Services in AWS Marketplace
As enterprises seek to address growing operational complexity and user demands through cloud services, Red Hat continues to add managed services that address an extensive list of hybrid cloud requirements. Today, Red Hat OpenShift Data Science is now publicly listed in AWS Marketplace as a limited release with full general availability in the coming weeks. Red Hat OpenShift Data Science, supported on Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA), is a fully-managed cloud service that provides data scientists and developers with a consistent, powerful artificial intelligence and machine-learning (AI/ML) platform for building intelligent applications. Built on the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform and enabled by a robust partner ecosystem, Red Hat OpenShift Data Science includes added features such as:
Machine learning operations (MLOps) capabilities, including an expanded user interface for machine learning projects to enhance collaboration, model building and model serving among data scientists.
NVIDIA AI Enterprise software, certified to run on Red Hat OpenShift, includes key enabling technologies for the rapid deployment, management and scaling of AI workloads.
Pre-integrated support for Pachyderm to build and scale containerized, data-driven ML pipelines with a data lineage provided by automatic data versioning. Pachyderm joins other leading AI/ML partners, including Anaconda, IBM, Intel and Starburst, in supporting Red Hat OpenShift Data Science.
In addition, Red Hat OpenShift Streams for Apache Kafka is also publicly available in AWS Marketplace. Designed to make it easier for developers to create, discover and connect to real-time data streams regardless of where they exist, Red Hat OpenShift Streams for Apache Kafka enables developers to focus on building better applications faster, without having to worry about the underlying requirements of data collection and processing.
The world’s leading enterprise Linux platform* in AWS Marketplace
A flexible, open Linux foundation is critical for hybrid cloud transformation, with Red Hat Enterprise Linux providing the backbone for many organizations as they work to evolve into digital-first organizations. Multiple Red Hat Enterprise Linux offerings are now available directly in AWS Marketplace, including:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Workstations on AWS, newly launched, provides a Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Workstation experience optimized for high-end workloads like data visualization, animation and visual effects, medical imaging and more, without user hardware or space requirements. Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Workstations is available in AWS Marketplace for GPU instances with NVIDIA RTX Virtual Workstation for professional design and visualization workloads powered by NVIDIA Data Center GPUs. Find Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Workstations in AWS Marketplace with support for both GRID and Tesla drivers.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions which delivers an operating system foundation tailored to the needs of SAP workloads such as S/4HANA and SAP HANA.
Additionally, pre-configured and optimized Red Hat Enterprise Linux images for specific workloads are also available, including for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 with SQL Server 2019 Standard. No matter the Red Hat Enterprise Linux solution chosen, each is backed by Red Hat’s enterprise-level support and expertise, which includes a detailed knowledge base, regular security errata and more.
Enterprise IT automation in AWS Marketplace
As the number, scale and diversity of IT environments grow, so does the complexity. Automation tooling is vital in helping IT teams keep pace with user demands, especially an automation platform that can be consistent across environments. At AnsibleFest 2022, Red Hat announced Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform in AWS Marketplace, delivering the same automation solution trusted by tens of thousands of IT teams to public cloud environments. Rather than having to learn a new, siloed tool, automation experts can use the same capabilities and features that they already understand across the entirety of the hybrid cloud, bringing consistency and sanity to their operations.
Red Hat Application Services in AWS Marketplace
As organizations modernize their infrastructures, many IT teams have mandates to host their Java workloads in the cloud. As a leading open source Jakarta EE-compliant application server, Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) offers Java developers powerful management and automation capabilities designed to Excellerate productivity, and a lightweight architecture for building and deploying modern cloud-native applications.
Today, Red Hat JBoss EAP is the first fully pay-as-you-go Red Hat offering for application services publicly available in AWS Marketplace. Customers are able to apply committed AWS spend on Red Hat solutions through AWS Marketplace, with no existing Red Hat subscription required, reducing costs and expanding their capabilities while using existing investments. This consumption model provides customers with a frictionless way to move existing applications to the cloud, while retaining support from Red Hat for updates, upgrades and servicing.
Red Hat solutions: Available where customers need them
Red Hat is committed to making it easier for customers to purchase and deploy Red Hat solutions. To further support customers across hybrid cloud environments, Red Hat is introducing flexible methods of purchasing and deploying Red Hat solutions in the cloud. This includes investing in native offerings with public cloud providers, such as Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS, channel enablement programs and solution availability in the major cloud marketplaces. With these updated purchasing models, Red Hat intends to enable customers and partners to consume Red Hat solutions in the ways best suited for their IT and business needs.
Find Red Hat at AWS re:Invent 2022 (Booth #624) and at the AWS Marketplace Pavilion (Booth #3525-19). Browse all Red Hat solutions currently available in AWS Marketplace today.
Stefanie Chiras, senior vice president, Partner Ecosystem Success, Red Hat
"By expanding Red Hat's footprint in AWS Marketplace, we are empowering customers with a holistic approach to access, consume and deploy open source solutions and services with greater ease and flexibility. This latest milestone in our long-standing relationship with AWS demonstrates the strength of ecosystem collaboration, bringing together Red Hat's leading open source technologies with the accessibility and simplified procurement offered through AWS Marketplace to deliver an enhanced customer experience, supported by an ecosystem of partner capabilities, and fueling real business outcomes in today's hybrid cloud world."
Bo Chen, vice president, Engineering, Liftoff
"A core focus for us at Liftoff is ensuring developers can act quickly on data and insights to generate intelligent solutions and stay competitive. Through AWS Marketplace, we sped up procurement to equip our developers with a self-serve, security-enhanced solution that's also easy to use. Running our GameRefinery platform on Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS helps our team focus on core engineering – minimizing time-consuming manual processes and providing us with the benefits of modern Kubernetes."
Joe Doliner, co-founder and chief executive officer, Pachyderm
"We are excited to collaborate with Red Hat and fully support their expansion in AWS Marketplace. Our mutual customers can now benefit from using two great open source technologies in AWS Marketplace. Running Pachyderm on Red Hat OpenShift on AWS provides faster time to value for enterprises building modern data-pipelining solutions for complex data transformations that support their next generation machine learning solutions."
Larry Carvalho, principal consultant, RobustCloud
"Cloud marketplaces offer a robust inventory of services and solutions from a diverse technology ecosystem, so organizations can clearly align their IT strategies and technology buying decisions with specific business outcomes. Through the simplified procurement experience of AWS Marketplace, AWS customers can quickly and easily unlock the value of Red Hat open source solutions that work best within their unique cloud footprint to accelerate business transformation."
Chris Grusz, General Manager of Worldwide ISV Alliances and AWS Marketplace, AWS
"Organizations are increasingly seeking business agility, better business outcomes and improved buying experiences in order to grow at the pace and scale necessary to achieve success. AWS Marketplace helps organizations accelerate IT innovation by streamlining the procurement and deployment of solutions and services, so they can get to market faster. With the availability of Red Hat's open source technologies in AWS Marketplace, organizations can now more easily and quickly harness the benefits of open source in the environments to grow with flexibility, agility and reliability."
1 Gartner, Press release: Gartner Says More Than Half of Enterprise IT Spending in Key Market Segments Will Shift to the Cloud by 2025, February 2022.
*Worldwide Operating Systems and Subsystems Market Shares, 2018; released November 2019
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About Red Hat, Inc.
Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies. Red Hat helps customers integrate new and existing IT applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardize on our industry-leading operating system, and automate, secure, and manage complex environments. Award-winning support, training, and consulting services make Red Hat a trusted adviser to the Fortune 500. As a strategic partner to cloud providers, system integrators, application vendors, customers, and open source communities, Red Hat can help organizations prepare for the digital future.
Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on the company’s current assumptions regarding future business and financial performance. These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. Any forward-looking statement in this press release speaks only as of the date on which it is made. Except as required by law, the company assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.
Red Hat, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the Red Hat logo, JBoss, Ansible and OpenShift are trademarks or registered trademarks of Red Hat, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries. Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries.
GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
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When what was then called Red Hat Linux first appeared in 1994, Gunnar Hellekson was working as a student systems administrator for Drew University. Nearly three decades later, Hellekson (pictured) is general manager of the Enterprise Linux Business unit at Red Hat Inc. and has become a key voice within the open-source community.
The past 17 years of Hellekson’s career have been spent at Red Hat, and his involvement in open source covered a wide range of responsibilities and organizations. He founded Open Source for America to promote the technology’s use throughout the federal government, served as a member of the Military Open-Source working group, and participated on the board of the Software and Information Industry Association.
Through his lengthy tech career, Hellekson has witnessed the emergence of open source from obscure corners of the developer ecosystem to the mainstream of enterprise operations. And he has a pretty clear idea of where the future opportunities can be found.
“When I started it was difficult to convince people that open source was both safe and effective,” Hellekson said. “It became seen as essential and a core part of everyone’s technology strategy. The next challenge for open source is not winning a desktop or open systems battle; it’s expanding into large scale distributed systems and the edge.”
Hellekson recently sat down for an exclusive interview with SiliconANGLE following theCUBE’s coverage of this year’s Red Hat Summit. He agreed to hold a conversation with SiliconANGLE following a busy summer in which RHEL 9, the latest major release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, shipped to customers around the globe.
Red Hat delivered on a key commitment with the major update in May. The company had previously delivered a major new RHEL release every five years, but moved to a three-year cycle, with periodic minor updates. By providing a more consistent release schedule, Red Hat customers can plan IT roadmaps in the enterprise to accommodate the Linux cycle.
“I think that my favorite feature of RHEL 9 was that it shipped when it did,” Hellekson said. “That has proved very valuable.”
The latest version of RHEL included several new management features designed to support intelligent applications at the edge. These encompassed a number of security capabilities to detect failed container updates and provided a simplified installer for deployment of edge systems.
Red Hat views the edge opportunity from a perspective of three rings, according to Hellekson. The innermost ring is the enterprise IT data center, and the second is the public cloud. The third is at the device level itself, and this is where Red Hat sees the key opportunity.
“We talk about compute leaving the data center and being pushed out closer to where the data is collected,” Hellekson said. “There is a role to play for all of our platforms in each of those concentric rings. I’m most interested in the use of RHEL in that outermost ring.”
Red Hat’s RHEL strategy for the edge is also closely linked to its Ansible Automation Platform. In May, the company strengthened its edge focus with a series of updates for Ansible and OpenShift that included a new automated mesh element for edge environments. By automating edge workloads and moving them closer to devices, Red Hat believes this will appeal to enterprise customers seeking to simplify IT tasks and lower operational costs.
“The interest in edge is going to come from making the edge as consistent as possible,” Hellekson said. “It is very difficult to find a RHEL customer who isn’t using Ansible on some level.”
While Red Hat caters to a diverse private sector customer base, the company is also pursuing its business in the public sector as well. Earlier this year, Red Hat released its fourth annual “State of Enterprise Open Source” report that included highlights from a survey of government IT decision-makers. Red Hat found that 78% of government IT leaders endorsed the use of open-source solutions, with containerization and application modernization leading the list of preferred use cases.
Before leading Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux Business Group, Hellekson was the chief strategist for the firm’s U.S. Public Sector organization. The experience gave him a greater appreciation for the government’s role in driving technological change.
“The U.S. government has been extremely aggressive in public cloud adoption,” Hellekson said. “The government remains a very demanding customer and is often pushing the boundaries of what this technology is doing.”
In the aftermath of several high-profile software supply chain security incidents, the federal government has been working with the private sector to craft potential solutions. Red Hat has been actively involved in this effort through several initiatives, including the Open Secure Content Automation Protocol, or OpenSCAP. The SCAP standard is a security policy compliance protocol maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The purpose of OpenSCAP is to provide an auditing tool that uses a checklist description format to automatically remediate non-compliant systems. Red Hat built OpenSCAP to ensure that code was compliant with the rules it contained, and the latest RHEL 9 release supports OpenSCAP 1.3.6.
“The government is spending a lot of time on integrity and provenance of software,” Hellekson noted. “That is forcing folks in government and the private sector to get creative. It is an intensely complex problem.”
Solving intensely complex problems appealed to Hellekson at an early age. The Red Hat executive was exposed to computers as a child, and his mother was a librarian who instilled an interest in learning from the start.
“I was always lucky to have a computer around the house,” Hellekson recalled. “That really captured my imagination.”
While pursuing his degree in theater and computer science at Drew, Hellekson came across a friend who hooked him into an internet account through the University of Hawaii. This was in the early days of the web when the internet was largely used as an interconnected database in higher education. The experience opened a window into a computer operating system that had just been created by a Finnish software engineer named Linus Torvalds.
“That’s how I discovered Linux,” Hellekson said. “I spent far too many hours in college downloading Linux, I really enjoyed the troubleshooting and problem-solving access. It was about making things easier for folks and finding a better way.”
From those early days of the internet in the 1990s to today, Hellekson is still finding new opportunities. He is part of a podcast with colleague David Egts, chief technologist for the public sector at Red Hat, called the “Dave and Gunnar Show.”
The program is wide ranging, with titles like “The Cult of the Dead Fruit on the Back of the Computer” and “Digital Skinner Box.” In recent episodes, the pair have found themselves talking more about the social consequences of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools, analyzing the plusses and minuses in a technology world that is moving at warp speed.
“AI and machine learning have slowly crept into that podcast in a way that I didn’t expect,” Hellekson said. “Deepfake technology has been democratized quickly; it is so cheap and accessible. The tech world spent so much time on how to do it; it didn’t think about should we do it.”
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 9.1 has now hit general availability, adding and refining capabilities for a wide range of enterprise IT needs, from helping to streamline complex infrastructure environments to improving the security stance of containerised applications.
With cloud strategies now predominantly seeking Kubernetes-based application backbones instead of virtual machines, Red Hat says its RHEL 9.1 release continues to deliver an efficient foundation for modern apps and environments.
Additionally, RHEL 9.1 keeps security front and centre with pre-configured operating system images to meet organisation-specific system security needs. IT teams can specify OpenSCAP security profiles in image builder blueprint files to deliver operating system images that meet IT security and compliance requirements from installation.
RHEL 9.1 also extends multi-level security support for agencies or other sensitive operations, to better document and control classification needs, as well as provide administrators with confidence operating systems are booting with validated and unmodified components.
Red Hat Insights now includes malware detection to scan RHEL systems for the presence of known vulnerabilities or malicious code. It also incorporates Sigstore technology to help users sign and verify code signatures using local keys.
Other features include:
Updated Red Hat Enterprise Linux system roles in making it easier to automate and standardise manual tasks for Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployments across the hybrid cloud. New enhancements include automation support via Ansible and Redfish to better manage underlying hardware and multiple quality-of-life tweaks across nearly all other roles.
PHP 8.1 (available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.1), a significant update of the PHP language, as a certified, validated and supported Application Stream. This enables enterprise developers to deliver critical applications with the latest tools without risking platform stability.
Support for Extended Update Support (EUS) releases via Convert2RHEL and Leapp in-place upgrades, making it easier for operations teams to plan for and ultimately migrate in a repeatable, consistent and standardised way to the latest versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, anywhere across the hybrid cloud.
Containerised application performance diagnostics via the Red Hat Enterprise Linux web console to help users understand where hardware bottlenecks exist and what processes or applications are consuming the most resources, even if those processes exist in a container.
Support for embedding containers, including UBI, into image builder blueprints which enables IT teams to create operating system images that embed a container image pulled from the associated container registry. This allows for containerised applications or processes to be used immediately upon booting up the image.
Existing RHEL subscribers can obtain RHEL 9.1 via the Red Hat customer portal.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux vice president and general manager Gunnar Hellekson said, “as enterprise IT expands to encompass traditional hardware, multiple public cloud environments and edge devices, complexity grows in parallel. The latest versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux continue our commitment to making hybrid cloud computing more than just accessible, but successful at the scale of global business by pairing reliability and stability with features designed for innovation and flexibility.”