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Red Hat releases new Linux

Red Hat has announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 with new automation capabilities designed to limit IT complexity while enhancing security.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 offers new automation capabilities designed to limit IT complexity while enhancing workload security and performance for traditional and cloud-native applications. This provides a powerful, flexible operating system backbone to address enterprise IT needs across physical servers, virtual machines and hybrid, public and multi-cloud footprints.

From traditional physical servers and virtual machines to next-generation cloud and container services, the operating system serves as a critical linchpin in connecting deployment footprints across the enterprise. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 acts as this keystone by pairing open source innovation with enterprise-grade stability, providing a foundation for digital transformation while still maintaining existing systems and workloads.

Security Features

As threats to IT infrastructure evolve, enterprises require more security innovation in their software stack to help prevent breaches and more proactively manage vulnerabilities. This innovation starts at the operating system level, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 brings to bear new and enhanced features designed to foster a more secure production environment for mission-critical workloads, both cloud-native and traditional. This includes:

  • Updated audit capabilities to help simplify how administrators filter the events logged by the audit system, gather more information from critical events and to interpret large numbers of records.
  • USB Guard, a feature that allows for greater control over how plug-and-play devices can be used by specific users to help limit both data leaks and data injection.
  • Enhanced container security functionality with full support for using SELinux with OverlayFS helps secure the underlying file system and provides the ability to use docker and use namespaces together for fine-grained access control.

Performance

Modern business applications require more bandwidth and increased storage, placing a performance strain on traditional operating systems and hardware. Engineered to meet the needs of organizations seeking to both modernize and optimize their enterprise IT infrastructure, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 offers new features designed to improve the performance of both networking and storage. New features include:

  • Support for NVMe Over Fabric helps to provide customers with increased flexibility and reduced overhead when accessing high performance NVMe storage devices located in the data center on both Ethernet or Infiniband fabric infrastructures.
  • General enhancements to Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s performance when deployed on the public cloud, highlighted by decreased boot times to better enable mission-critical applications to start sooner, and support for the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to enable new network capabilities.

Linux Containers and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host

Linux containers present an evolution in how businesses develop, deploy, and manage modern applications, helping enterprises scale to new levels of operational efficiency, speed application development and drive increased flexibility in managing application life cycles. Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4, the latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host further refines enterprise-grade Linux containers with enhancements that include:

  • Improved security without sacrificing performance, thanks to integrated support for SELinux and OverlayFS, as well as full support for the overlay2 storage graph driver.
  • Full support for package layering with rpm-ostree, providing a means of adding packages like monitoring agents and drivers to the host operating system.
  • The introduction of LiveFS as a Technology Preview, which enables users to install security updates and layer packages without a reboot.

Management and automation

With datacenter footprints that span from bare-metal to the cloud, the complexity associated with controlling IT environments continues to increase. Complementing the capabilities of Red Hat Satellite and automation via Ansible Tower, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 introduces Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Roles as a Technology Preview. System Roles provide a common management interface across all major versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, enabling an automated workflow via Ansible automation to be created once and used across large, heterogeneous Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployments without additional modifications.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for multiple architectures

Red Hat remains committed to providing customer choice when it comes to datacenter infrastructure. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 maintains this commitment with availability across multiple architectures, including IBM Power, IBM z Systems and 64-bit ARM (as a Development Preview). For the IBM Power Little Endian architecture, this release enables support for the High Availability and Resilient Storage Add-Ons as well as the Open Container Initiative (OCI) runtime and image format.

 

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Two-thirds of adults ready for cars that drive themselves

The latest Looking Further with Ford Trends Report reveals that behaviour is changing across key areas of our lives

Self-driving cars are a hot topic today, but if you had to choose, would you rather your children ride in an autonomous vehicle or drive with a stranger? You may be surprised to learn that 67 per cent of adults globally would opt for the self-driving car.

That insight is one of many revealed in the 2019 Looking Further with Ford Trend Report, released last week. The report takes a deep look into the drivers of behavioural change, specifically uncovering the dynamic relationships consumers have with the shifting landscape of technology.

Change is not always easy, particularly when it is driven by forces beyond our control. In a global survey of 14 countries, Ford’s research revealed that 87 per cent of adults believe technology is the biggest driver of change. And while 79 per cent of adults maintain that technology is a force for good, there are large segments of the population that have significant concerns. Some are afraid of artificial intelligence (AI). Others fear the impact of technology on our emotional wellbeing.

“Individually and collectively, these behavioural changes can take us from feeling helpless to feeling empowered, and unleash a world of wonder, hope and progress,” says Kuda Takura, smart mobility specialist at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “At Ford we are deeply focused on human-centric design and are committed to finding mobility solutions that help improve the lives of consumers and their communities. In the context of change, we have to protect what we consider most valuable – having a trusted relationship with our customers. So, we are always deliberate and thoughtful about how we navigate change.”

Key insights from Ford’s 7th annual Trends Report:

Almost half of people around the world believe that fear drives change
Seven in 10 say that they are energised by change
87 per cent agree that technology is the biggest driver of today’s change
Eight in 10 citizens believe that technology is a force for good
45 per cent of adults globally report that they envy people who can disconnect from their devices
Seven out of 10 consumers agree that we should have a mandatory time-out from our devices

Click here to read more about the seven trends for 2019.

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Encounters festival to screen year’s hottest documentaries

The 21st Encounters South African International Documentary Festival has secured the rights to screen 2019’s most acclaimed documentaries.

Fresh from the world’s leading festivals, the documentaries put viewers in places as diverse as the front row of high-fashion’s runways to eavesdropping on an international racist conspiracy with South African ties, from a tribute to Pan-Africanism via Fela Kuti to Afrika Bambaataa’s search for his roots in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

The opening night film, coming just weeks after its World Premiere in Competition at Hot Docs, Toronto’s holy grail of documentary film festivals, will be “Buddha In Africa”. Made by South African director Nicole Schafer, it receives its’ joint South African premiere at Encounters and the 40th Durban International Film Festival.

This delicately observed documentary is about a Malawian teenager in a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Africa, who finds himself torn between his African roots and Chinese upbringing. The film focuses on Enock, a young teenager caught between his traditional culture, his dreams of becoming a martial arts hero like Jet Li and the strict discipline of Confucianism. Set against the backdrop of China’s growing influence on the African continent this essential film poses complex questions about race, imperialism, faith and culture and offers a subtle exploration of the impact of soft cultural power on the identity and interior life of a young boy and his community.

Director Schafer says: “It’s also about Africa’s relations with other foreign nations, including the former colonisers. It’s this idea that the key to the future of the continent’s development is always held by outsiders, and that in order to succeed, we have to adapt to foreign value systems and policies. I think Enock’s story challenges this idea in very refreshing ways.”

Click here to read about what’s to show at this year’s Encounters festival.

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