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Embracing the Future with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.3 and 8.9

Embracing the Future with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.3 and 8.9

The News: Red Hat launches the next versions of its enterprise Linux platform. Read the full press release on the Red Hat website.

Embracing the Future with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.3 and 8.9

Analyst Take: Red Hat recently announced the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 9.3 and the upcoming release of RHEL 8.9. These updates mark significant milestones in the evolution of the world’s premier enterprise Linux platform, particularly in the realm of container technology and system management. The news showcases evolving DevOps through platform engineering.

The release of RHEL 9.3 and 8.9 come at a critical juncture in the open source landscape. Red Hat’s decision to shift focus from CentOS Linux to CentOS Stream, a rolling-release distribution, has sparked significant debate in the open source community. Many users and developers expressed concern over the move, perceiving it to be a departure from CentOS’s traditional role as a stable, free alternative to RHEL. In response to this shift, several organizations, including Oracle and SUSE, have launched OpenELA (Enterprise Linux Association) to provide a stable and free enterprise Linux distribution and address the gap left by the CentOS transition. Without my wishing to re-hash this discussion, you can check out the Red Hat rationale in my interview with Gunnar Hellekson. Announcement highlights include are highlighted here.

Enhancements for a Containerized Future

RHEL 9.3 and 8.9 offer native support for Podman, a daemonless tool for managing Linux containers; this support highlights Red Hat’s commitment to containerized solutions. The integration of Podman into existing workflows, supplemented by new web console enhancements, underscores Red Hat’s approach to seamless innovation. Including Quadlet, a tool facilitating container management with systemd Linus software suite, further simplifies container operations, addressing scalability and management challenges in containerized environments.

Insights for Proactive Analytics and Management

An integral part of RHEL 9.3 and 8.9 is Red Hat Insights, a suite of analytics tools that leverage Red Hat’s extensive experience in Linux systems. Insights enhances system reliability and security by proactively identifying and addressing potential issues. The latest updates expand its capabilities, including image builder support for various formats and enhanced vulnerability oversight. These features bolster system security and streamline compliance and operational tasks.

Stratis Is Revolutionizing Linux Storage

RHEL 9.3 introduces complete support for Stratis, a cutting-edge Linux storage system. Stratis simplifies storage administration, integrating various Linux features into an intuitive interface. It offers dynamic scaling, robust encryption, and efficient resource allocation. This storage technology advancement confirms Red Hat’s commitment to making complex storage operations more accessible and manageable.

Migration and Transition Support

Recognizing the challenges of transitioning to a new platform, Red Hat has enhanced its convert2rhel tool. This tool now supports additional RHEL-derived distributions, easing the migration process to RHEL, which remains a top choice for enterprise Linux platforms.

Gunnar Hellekson, vice president and general manager of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, underscored in the announcement that Red Hat’s updates strategically align with both contemporary and future IT demands. By smoothly integrating advanced technologies such as Stratis and enhanced Podman functionalities into the RHEL ecosystem, Red Hat is demonstrating its commitment to evolving with technological trends without disrupting existing system frameworks. Given the CentOS discussion in the community, this commitment will be key going forward.

Looking Ahead

The release of RHEL 9.3 and the upcoming 8.9 version represent a significant stride forward in Red Hat’s journey toward a future dominated by containerized and cloud-native applications. Red Hat is addressing current market demands and laying a foundation for future technological advancements by focusing on container innovation, system management, and storage solutions. Although technical, these updates resonate with a broader IT trend toward seamless, scalable, and secure systems that can adapt to rapidly evolving business environments. These announcements also come hot on the heels of updates to the other flagship offering in the Red Hat fleet, OpenShift, which was announced last week at KubeCon.

As organizations continue to navigate the complexities of digital transformation, Red Hat’s latest offerings in RHEL 9.3 and 8.9 stand out as beacons of stability and innovation. By providing tools that are both advanced and accessible, Red Hat is affirming its commitment to enabling enterprises to embrace the future of computing without departing from the familiar terrain of existing IT infrastructure.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

The Future of Public RHEL-related Source Code Releases: A Candid Conversation with Red Hat’s Gunnar Hellekson about CentOS Stream

Cohesity Data Cloud on RHEL

IBM Earnings

Author Information

Regarded as a luminary at the intersection of technology and business transformation, Steven Dickens is the Vice President and Practice Leader for Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations at The Futurum Group. With a distinguished track record as a Forbes contributor and a ranking among the Top 10 Analysts by ARInsights, Steven's unique vantage point enables him to chart the nexus between emergent technologies and disruptive innovation, offering unparalleled insights for global enterprises.

Steven's expertise spans a broad spectrum of technologies that drive modern enterprises. Notable among these are open source, hybrid cloud, mission-critical infrastructure, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and FinTech innovation. His work is foundational in aligning the strategic imperatives of C-suite executives with the practical needs of end users and technology practitioners, serving as a catalyst for optimizing the return on technology investments.

Over the years, Steven has been an integral part of industry behemoths including Broadcom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and IBM. His exceptional ability to pioneer multi-hundred-million-dollar products and to lead global sales teams with revenues in the same echelon has consistently demonstrated his capability for high-impact leadership.

Steven serves as a thought leader in various technology consortiums. He was a founding board member and former Chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. His role as a Board Advisor continues to shape the advocacy for open source implementations of mainframe technologies.


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