March 8, 2021

Two Hats Are Redder Than One: Continuing RHEL (Week 2)

Two Hats Are Redder Than One: Continuing RHEL (Week 2)

Hi everyone!

I hope you are all having a great week. On a completely personal note I would love to have some sort of cool sign on like Ron Burgundy. But unfortunately I lack any sort of creative ability so “Hi everyone!” is what you’re all stuck with. Welcome to week 2 of our technical blog series. Last week we set the stage for this series going forward and introduced the foundation for all things Red Hat as our first product discussion. To recap Red Hat Enterprise Linux, it was our first product offering, it is an operating system built off of an Open Source Linux distribution called Fedora. Cameron discussed Open Source software and I set the stage on what an operating system is and discussed a few different key offerings. But now, to the thrilling conclusion of Two Hats Are Redder Than One: Week 1.

Cody

Last week I discussed what an Operating System is. If you need a refresher then check back to last week’s post because we are moving full steam ahead. I mentioned that most operating systems are designed to satisfy a customer need and RHEL is no exception. Red Hat saw the need for an enterprise grade open source operating system and sought to fill that need. The issues with enterprise open source software included lack of support and difficulty with standardized training of resources. Open source software had a perception of being insecure and unstable. A trusted source needed to step in to help with that perception, one of those sources was Red Hat.

Security in an enterprise offering is paramount. Many different business units within an organization from Finance to Production will be relying on this operating system (assuming the company is standardizing on it). RHEL was built on a security architecture known as SELinux (Security-Enhanced Linux). SELinux was designed by the United States National Security Agency and is used to provide a more secure environment for system administrators and users. SELinux is the foundation for RHEL and as RHEL is the foundation for all Red Hat products you can say that security is at the core of everything Red Hat does.

Having a secure operating system can only go so far if the operating system doesn’t run properly on the infrastructure you need it for. RHEL takes a unique approach to this as well. Some enterprise operating systems have different offerings depending on the use case/infrastructure (Edge, Low Resource, Long Term Support, etc). RHEL is designed to run across multiple types of infrastructure (Edge, Personal Use, Public/Private Cloud, and even in a virtual environment). This allows you to access the same secure, easy-to-use, powerful environment no matter your infrastructure needs. You can even add a Long Term Support addon to any of these subscriptions. This allows for a consistent experience across the board and extended support for a product that is time consuming to onboard into your enterprise.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, like any other software offering, is a vastly complex product and while features like SELinux and consistent experience along infrastructure types are very important there is a lot more that goes into RHEL that makes it a strong Enterprise Open Source Operating System offering. I am going to pass it off to Cameron now to continue the conversation but stay tuned for our next blog post on Red Hat’s Ansible Automation Platform. Thanks!

Cameron

Thanks Cody!  SELinux and OS deployment flexibility are really fantastic aspects to point out about RHEL.  SELinux has been a staple of security for years and the ability to deploy in different scenarios is more important than ever..  What’s also important is that your operating system was designed with achieving your goals in mind.  For many that means security and flexibility but technologies are developing quickly for things like containers, automation and machine learning as well.  Luckily Red Hat is on top of that too.

If you’ve got Machine Learning on the mind then you will need to use GPUs to power your workloads.  RHEL 8 is built to support hardware from top GPU vendors like NVIDIA and software in the form of machine learning frameworks like TensorFlow, Caffe2, PyTouch and Apache MXNet which are all certified on RHEL 8 as well.  The choices you make toward innovations like machine learning will set the course of your company for years to come and by choosing an OS built to be stable and supported, you can begin down that path of innovation with confidence.

Containers are the future and containers are Linux.  I guess that makes Red Hat the future and with tools like Podman, Buildah and Skopeo that shows.  With Podman you can create and manage container images, Buildha to give you better control and visibility over the images being created and Skopeo allows you to move and verify images from different types of container storages.  These tools make the barrier to entry that much lower to get your team up and running with the latest container technology.

There’s one more thing worth pointing out with RHEL 8 and that’s a hidden present that comes with your subscription.  Red Hat now includes Red Hat Insights with your subscription to RHEL 8.  Red Hat Insights uses predictive analytics to help recognize issues in your environment before they become problems that you have to spend time troubleshooting.  System metadata is analyzed constantly and referenced with Red Hat’s own knowledge of how your environment should be deployed to be stable and secure.  Once analyzed and checked for errors, Red Hat sends actionable recommendations to your team so that they can begin acting on them based on priority.