Red Hat: RHEL 5 Just the Beginning

Though Red Hat  has just released a massive
to its Enterprise Linux, there are plenty of more announcements in the works including greater interoperability and a possible appliance model.

In fact there was even so much new stuff to cover, that Red Hat didn’t even
tell the world in its launch event everything that they were launching.

While the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (RHEL 5) release day activities were
focused on the server, Red Hat is also rolling out a new desktop as well.

Mike Evans, Red Hat’s vice president of partner development told that while the desktop wasn’t a big part of
the launch day discussions the RHEL 5 Desktop and Workstation edition did in
fact launch the same day as their server cousins.

“Over the next several months we’ll be saying more about our thoughts and
plans but there are updated products available for Desktop now,” Evans said.

In the next several months Red Hat will likely have lots of desktop related
news in fact, with a good chunk of it related to interoperability with
Microsoft Windows systems.

At the end of the launch day event, Red Hat’s vice president of engineering Paul Cormier,
revealed a bit of the company’s future plans.

“A large part of the Samba team has come over to Red Hat in the last few
months. That team is working with our directory team [and] you’re going to see us
to do a lot more work with interoperability in the coming months,” Cormier

Samba is the open source application that enables file and print services
sharing from Windows to Linux. It is also a key part of the November
Microsoft Novell deal on interoperability and patents. Samba developers have spoken out about the deal and apparently they are siding with Red Hat.

“We’re going to make it so it is just seamless interoperability between our
directory and Microsoft Active Directory and Samba will be the lynchpin for
that,” Cormier said. “You’ll see this support start to come in the RHEL 5
subscription stream as it’s a big focus area for us.”

Red Hat updates its Enterprise Linux with additional features over the
course of its supported lifespan. RHEL 4 was
actually recently upgraded to include additional virtualization support.

Red Hat is also very interested in the software appliance marketplace. Linux vendor
, which was founded by former Red Hat executives is making hay in
that area and it’s something that has not escaped Red Hat’s notice.

“We’re already working with VMware on it and we’re talking with ISV partners
and end customers to see what the interest and demand is,” Evans told “I would expect that you’ll see more noise from us
in the whole software appliance area.”

“We think it’s an exciting area. It’ll probably take some time to play out
and will be an incremental gain as people see value in doing it,” Evans
added. “We think it’s a very interesting model for the future.”

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