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Red Hat Boosts Virtualization With RHEL 5.5

Red Hat has issued an early beta version of the latest iteration of its Enterprise Linux offering, version 5.5. The firm bills the release as a significant improvement in its virtualization offerings through a new run-time memory allocation feature.

Server Watch has the details on the new offering, and looks at the impact on wireless.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 (RHEL) is now available in early beta, providing users of Red Hat's flagship operating system with bug fixes and an early look at some new features, too.

With RHEL 5.5, Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is continuing to build on the RHEL 5 base, which was launched in 2007. Its most recent update was the RHEL 5.4 release, which officially debuted in September and was notable for its new KVM virtualization base. It's a base that Red Hat is further expanding now with RHEL 5.5, thanks to a new run-time memory allocation feature for KVM virtual guests.

With run-time memory allocation, virtual guests can also obtain extra memory as required as opposed to be stuck with a fixed amount of memory.

"In a virtualized environment, portions of the host's physical memory are allocated to each guest, with each guest starting a virtual session with a fixed RAM allocation," the RHEL 5.5 release notes state. "Run-time memory allocation -- referred to as memory ballooning during development -- allows for changing this allocation at run time."

Another virtualization improvement in RHEL 5.5 has to do with PCI passthrough. This enables a virtual operating system to see and utilize a computer's PCI devices as though they were physically attached. With RHEL 5.5, Red Hat has improved support for PCI passthrough on both AMD and Intel chipsets.

Read the full story at Server Watch:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 Beta Expands Virtualization