At the Red Hat Summit 2019 conference, Red Hat today announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8, which includes among other things a Smart Management add-on designed to make it easier to manage RHEL 8 across hybrid cloud computing environments.
In addition, RHEL 8 includes Application Streams, a set of utilities for updating languages, frameworks and developer tools without impacting the core resources, as well as updating RHEL 7 to RHEL 8 in place.
RHEL 8 also adds Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Roles, which provides modules to automate complex tasks using the Ansible automation framework along with support for the Red Hat container toolkit and the general availability of the Red Hat Universal Base Image, a userspace image derived from RHEL that makes it easier to build Linux containers certified to run on RHEL.
Red Hat also revealed that Red Hat Insights, a set of predictive analytics tools, will be included with the RHEL 8 subscription and that RHEL 8 supports both the OpenSSL 1.1.1 and TLS 1.3 cryptographic standards.
Gunnar Hellekson, director for product management for Red Hat, said Red Hat is focusing on automating as many tasks as possible as part of an effort to make the life of IT operations teams simpler. As part of that effort, Hellekson said Red Hat is moving to lower the barrier to becoming a RHEL administrator by abstracting away many of the complexities historically associated with trying to manage Linux environments using a command line interface (CLI). Much of that focus will manifest themselves via ongoing enhancements to the Compose and Cockpit tools Red Hat provides for deploying and managing instances of RHEL, said Hellekson.
Red Hat is making it clear it wants to make RHEL much more accessible to a larger number of IT administrators, especially those that historically have favored a more graphical approach to managing operating system environments. At the same time, however, Red Hat is infusing more automation into RHEL 8 as part of an effort to make it easier to manage deployments at scale. That latter capability is crucial for DevOps teams that, for example, need to be able to update a development environment without waiting for an IT operations team to reconfigure and reboot an operating system. Via add-ons to the core RHEL platform, Red Hat is now starting to expand those automation capabilities across both on-premises and public cloud computing environments.
It’s unclear going forward how many instances of RHEL any one IT administrator might be able to manage on their own. Trying to determine that number might not even be worth the effort because advances in automation are now coming so rapidly that trying to determine that right number of IT administrators per environment is not possible to determine consistently. Instead, IT organizations should just assume that, thanks to automation enabled by machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics, the operating system environment is now flexible enough to scale up and down as needed.