Open-source enterprise software company Red Hat has updated its flagship operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), to take full advantage of the latest spoils from the heated microprocessor battle between Advanced Micro Devices and Intel.

RHEL version 5.5, released Wednesday, has been reconfigured for Intel's just-released eight-core Nehalem-EX and AMD's almost-as-recently released 12-core "Magny-Cours" Opteron 6100 Series processors. The software also supports the IBM eight-core Power7 processors, released in February.
RHEL 5.5 also now supports Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV), a specification that allows multiple virtual guests to better share PCI hardware resources and I/O devices. While some I/O-intensive applications, such as database servers, can experience as much as a 30 percent reduction in performance when virtualized, these new technologies could reduce that latency to as little as 5 percent.


Beyond support for the new round of multicore releases, RHEL 5.5 has a number of other new features as well. It has been updated to extend Active Directory integration, through the use of the latest version of Samba file- and print-sharing software. Also, for the first time, RHEL's version of SystemTap can trace the run-time performance of C++ applications (much like Oracle's DTrace does for Solaris' applications).
RHEL 5.5 also aggregates all the bug fixes and maintenance patches since the release of RHEL 5.4, released last September.

RHEL 5.5 is available for download for subscribers.

(This news sourced from the pcworld.com and full version can be reached their web pages)

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