Red Hat unveils Linux 3.0

Red Hat has introduced Red Hat Linux 3.0, the newest addition to its Open Source Architecture platform and, according to one...

Red Hat has introduced Red Hat Linux 3.0, the newest addition to its Open Source Architecture platform and, according to one analyst, its improved support for Java and threads will have many Red Hat users making an upgrade.

One of the key features is its ability to support seven hardware architectures: Intel's X86, Intel Itanium, Advanced Micro Devices' AMD64 and IBM's zSeries, iSeries, pSeries and S/390.

Other features included in version 3.0 are: use of the latest stable Linux kernel; a multi-threading capability to improve performance for multi-threaded applications; and enhanced Java implementations from BEA Systems, IBM and Sun Microsystems.

Stacey Quandt, a principal analyst at Open Source Development Lab (OSDL), said that a number of organisations will upgrade to Red Hat’s Linux 3, in particular those organisations looking for better thread support.

"Red Hat provides support for the Native Posix Threading Library, which will enable improvements in scalability for running databases and application servers," Quandt said, adding that Red Hat’s support for multiple 64GB platforms is a key advantage and places pressure on Sun and Microsoft.

Although Red Hat 3.0 is an opportunity for the company to migrate Unix and Windows users to its version of Linux, Quandt said final migration decisions will depend on a company’s workload requirements including performance, scalability, manageability and availability.

"Red Hat 3.0 offers performance features that will be attractive to users who want to consolidate workloads running on larger Unix systems."

She added that for users who need to scale a workload beyond eight-way symmetric multiprocessing (SMP), Unix is still the way to go, and that in general it is much harder to port Windows applications to Linux.

"Migrations from Windows to Linux usually take place when there is a cultural environment at the chief technical officer and chief information officer level that is amenable to open source software."

Red Hat Linux 3.0 is available as part of an annual subscription which includes Red Hat Network and services. Existing network subscribers can upgrade now via Red Hat Network.

There is also some light at the end of the tunnel in terms of cost, according to Quandt, because Red Hat has been known to negotiate.
"While the high-end of Red Hat AS 2.1 was originally priced at approximately $2,500 per system I have heard of organisations negotiating deals of $300 per system."

Lindsay Bruce writes for

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