Users wary of switching to the cutting-edge XFS can still use the previous file system, ext4, or another advanced, though still experimental, file system, Btrfs.
Also on the cutting edge in RHEL 7 is some work done to make the KVM (kernel-based virtual machine) hypervisor understand NUMA (non-uniform memory architecture). NUMA configures working memory in large systems so the data resides as closely as possible to the computer processor that uses that data. Recognizing NUMA will allow KVM virtual machines to work close to the bare-metal speed of the server, Pacheco said.
"This may be important for customers who are now trying to consolidate those last mission-critical workloads on bare metal," Pacheco said. "We want to see their feedback as to whether or not we are obtaining all the performance we are expecting" with the beta release.
For the old-school Linux administrators, who run everything by the command line, RHEL 7 offers a unified CLI (command line interface). RHEL, of course, offers all the standard Unix commands, but now administrators can also type and script Red Hat commands for handling many storage and networking duties from the same shell. Previously, these commands could only be issued through Red Hat's Storage Manager and Network Manager utilities.
"Admins can just enhance their scripts to take advantage of the unified CLI," Pacheco said.
Red Hat is also working to bridge the divide in data centers between RHEL servers and Microsoft Windows Servers, so that users can be authenticated for any application on either type of server.
Using Samba 4.1 in RHEL 7, administrators can bridge Microsoft Active Directory domains with the directories based on LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol). They can also set up a parallel trust zone between Windows and RHEL servers using the RHEL Identity Management software.
"It will simplify the ability for a Linux user to reach services that reside on the Windows domain, such as a printer server," Pacheco said. RHEL "will also offer the ability for the [Linux] user to automatically be enrolled into an Active Directory domain."
Finally, RHEL 7 interfaces with OpenLMI, open-source software designed to manage multiple Linux distributions through a single interface.