Red Hat has begun shipping the fifth update to its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 platform, which supports virtualisation, Intel Nehalem EX and AMD Opteron 6000 Series processors.
The company said version 5.5 of Red Hat supports the large memory systems now available on new servers. This allows a larger number of virtual machines to be deployed on each physical server, according to Red Hat, so users can consolidate more servers and reduce costs.
The operating system also offers improvements to page support for virtual machines, which would boost the performance of memory-intensive applications, Red Hat said.
Single Root I/O Virtualisation is another function Red Hat has added to Linux to support virtualisation. This is designed to improve how virtual machines on Red Hat share PCI hardware resources to access I/O devices.
Along with virtualisation, Red Hat said the operating system provides Microsoft Windows 7 interoperability enhancements. It offers integration with Microsoft's Active Directory integration, allowing IT policies for users and groups to be mapped.