"We've had a lot of interest" in RHEL 8 because it had been around four years since version 7 was released, Paget told iTWire,
The new release — which became generally available last month — addressed two key areas, he said. It reduced friction and the cost of change while increasing agility and reducing time to market for critical workloads.
An important consideration was the way RHEL 8 provides the same experience whether it was running on bare metal, virtual servers or in the cloud (it's available on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and more), and on Arm, Power or x86 processors.
Furthermore, major hardware suppliers — Dell EMC, HPE, Fujitsu and Lenovo — are Red Hat partners, along with Broadcom, Intel, Mellanox and Nvidia.
Enhancements delivered in RHEL 8 include Red Hat Insights (performs a continuous assessment of systems to identify issues before they become problems), Image Builder (creates a blueprint for generating gold masters for deployment on bare metal, hypervisors, private cloud and public cloud), and in-place upgrades from RHEL 7.6.
Several security improvements are included, among them support for TLS 1.3 (via OpenSSL 1.1.1), system-wide cryptographic policies, integrated identity management, and hardened code.
"Linux and containers are a very strong combination," said Paget, so RHEL 8 provided a Universal Base Image allowing developers to create containers on other platforms even if they were to be run on RHEL 8 and OpenShift.
Tools to assist container management include Podman (to run containers in user space), Buildah (to create images for containers), and Skopeo (to inspect and transport images).
Changes affecting operations included a Web console that reduced the need for Linux-specific expertise when setting up and managing systems, and provision for managing multiple versions of RHEL from a single admin role, he said.
All active RHEL subscriptions include RHEL 8. A 30-day evaluation subscription is available.