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Chapter 1. Overview

Security and Compliance

  • Security improvements and usability enhancements for cloud and remotely hosted systems that can more securely unlock Network Bound Disk Encrypted devices at boot-time. This eliminates the need for manual intervention during the often inconveniently-timed boot process.
  • The integration of Red Hat Ansible Automation with OpenSCAP, which enhances the ease of automating the remediation of compliance issues and enables administrators to more efficiently deploy policies across their environment.
  • Compliance improvements for accurate timestamping and synchronization needs with the addition of failover with bonding interfaces for Precision Time Protocol (PTP) and Network Time Protocol (NTP).

Performance and Efficiency

  • The introduction of Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO), designed to reduce data redundancy through inline deduplication and compression of primary storage. The incorporated data reduction technology helps to increase storage efficiency and reduce the cost of storage.
  • Distributed File System (DFS) supported in Server Message Block (SMB) protocol versions 2 and 3. This enables a Windows system administrator to combine multiple SMB file systems into a single virtual file system.

Platform Manageability

  • Enhanced usability of the Cockpit administrator console, which is designed to simplify the interface for managing storage, networking, containers, services, and more for individual systems.
  • A new utility, boom, which provides a command-line tool and an API for improved management of boot loader entries for LVM snapshots and images.

Identity Management and Access Control

  • Windows Server 2016 forest and domain functional levels are now supported for a cross-forest trust with Identity Management.
  • The handling of replication conflict entries in Directory Server has been enhanced.
  • The OpenLDAP suite is now compiled with the OpenSSL library instead of the Mozilla implementation of Network Security Services (Mozilla NSS).
  • The samba packages have been upgraded to upstream version 4.7.1. Notably, the Samba suite in Red Hat Enterprise Linux is now using the SMB protocol version 3 by default.
  • Multiple enhancements for the System Security Services Daemon (SSSD) have been introduced.
  • The performance and stability of the Active Directory integration solutions provided by Identity Management have been enhanced.

Support for Architectures in the New Kernel Version

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 is distributed with the kernel-alt packages, which include kernel version 4.14. This kernel version provides support for the following architectures:
  • 64-bit ARM
  • IBM POWER9 (little endian)
  • IBM z Systems
For details, see Chapter 2, Architectures.

Virtualization

  • KVM virtualization is now supported on IBM POWER8 systems. In addition, this update introduces support for KVM virtualization on the IBM POWER9 (little-endian) and IBM z Systems architectures. However, these require the use of kernel version 4.14, provided by the kernel-alt packages.

Red Hat Insights

Since Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2, the Red Hat Insights service is available. Red Hat Insights is a proactive service designed to enable you to identify, examine, and resolve known technical issues before they affect your deployment. Insights leverages the combined knowledge of Red Hat Support Engineers, documented solutions, and resolved issues to deliver relevant, actionable information to system administrators.
The service is hosted and delivered through the Customer Portal or through Red Hat Satellite. To register your systems, follow the Getting Started Guide for Insights.

Red Hat Customer Portal Labs

Red Hat Customer Portal Labs is a set of tools in a section of the Customer Portal available at https://access.redhat.com/labs/. The applications in Red Hat Customer Portal Labs can help you improve performance, quickly troubleshoot issues, identify security problems, and quickly deploy and configure complex applications. Some of the most popular applications are: