RHEL 7.1 Changes

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The RHEL 7.1 release brings the following new enhancements:

  • support for POWER8 on IBM Power Systems (based on little endian) hardware architecture,
  • support for Intel Xeon® Processor (EX) E7-88XX/48xx V3 C600 Chipset,
  • OpenLMI enhancements, adding new capabilities for managing storage and introducing support for thin provisioning in LVM (Logical Volume Manager),
  • the ability to provide strong one-time password (OTP) authentication via LDAP and Kerberos protocols leveraging software tokens provided by FreeOTP and hardware tokens,
  • new locking mechanisms have been implemented in the kernel that improve processor efficiency for large systems with sizable NUMA nodes,
  • the kernel idle balance mechanism has been improved: it is now less likely to delay recently queued tasks on the same CPU, reducing processing latency when idle balancing is in use,
  • an improved installer allows the creation of network bridges and the configuration of the Kdump kernel crash dumping mechanism,
  • new Kickstart options have been added:
    • logvol –profile=default/thin-performance : this option specifies the configuration profile name to use with thin logical volumes,
    • network –device=br0 –bridgeslaves=eth0 –bridgeopts=stp/priority/forward-delay/hello-time/max-age/ageing-time : this set of options allows the creation of a network bridge with various properties,
    • autopart –fstype=ext4/xfs : this option changes the default file system when using automatic partitioning,
    • repo –install=/path/to/repository : this option provides the specified repository only during the installation process,
    • bootloader –disabled : this option, mainly useful with Docker, doesn’t install the boot loader,
    • %packages –nocore : this option allows minimal installation for use with containers,
  • the LVM Cache is now fully supported : it is now possible to create a logical volume on a fast device acting as a cache for a larger slower device,
  • the new kernel supports the Ceph block devices and dynamic kernel patching (kpatch) as a technology preview,
  • the paravirtualized hardware RNG has been improved,
  • the Red Hat High Availability Add-On has been enhanced : better management of addition and removal of nodes with the token_coefficient option and new pcs options,
  • the OpenJDK8 is available,
  • the Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) can be used to build packet filter,
  • the libnetfilter_queue package has been added and provides an API for packet queues created by the kernel packet filter,
  • the stability of the system clock has been greatly improved,
  • the reliability of the Teaming subsystem is much better,
  • it is now possible to define custom VLAN names,
  • Docker containers can now run with SELinux enabled (except when Btrfs is used),
  • new IPA commands are available:
    • ipa-backup/ipa-restore : these commands allow users to back up and restore their IdM data,
    • ipa-cacert-manage renew : this allows to renew the IdM Certification Authority file,
  • the SSSD daemon has been improved to better deal with CIFS share,
  • the SCAP Security Guide is now included and provides an automated test, through the oscap command, to verify system compliance,
  • a new SELinux domain called unconfined_service_t replaces the init_t domain for services without their own SELinux policy,
  • the OpenSSH, Libreswan VPN, Trusted Network Connect Architecture and GnuTLS implementations have been improved,
  • the swapon command gets a new –discard option allowing administrators to select which discard policy to use when swapping on SSD,
  • tuned profiles can now change kernel command line parameters with the cmdline option, this taking effect after reboot.

Sources: Red Hat RHEL 7.1 announcement, RHEL 7.1 Release Notes, and RHEL 7 Performance Tuning Guide.

Additional Resources

Global Knowledge provides a white paper called New RHEL 7.1 Features Ease Business and IT Adoption.
The Red Hat portal provides an article about the new features of Identity Management in RHEL 7.1.

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