Enterprise computing has entered a new age, with the hybrid cloud, open source container virtualization and massively scalable storage at its core. That's the message this week from Red Hat (RHT) in the wake of the milestone release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, the latest version of the open source server operating system.

It has been nearly three years since the debut in November 2014 of RHEL version 6.0, which saw its last major point release in November 2013. That time frame alone makes RHEL 7, which became generally available on June 10, an important milestone in the evolution of Red Hat's flagship product.

The company said the platform departs from earlier generations of the RHEL family in several key ways, including:

  • Next-generation application-deployment functionality, including container-based virtualized applications through Linux Containers and Docker.
  • XFS as the default file system, a change that adds massive storage scalability to RHEL. It's also a move that was a very long time coming, with XFS development dating to 1993 but the file system's modern iterations only reaching production-deployment quality in the last few years.
  • A variety of new or updated management tools, including systemd and enhanced application isolation, that increase RHEL's usability and efficiency, according to Red Hat.

All of these changes add up to better open-standards hybrid cloud computing and push "the operating system beyond today’s position as a commodity platform," Red Hat said in a statement regarding the release. And to sweeten the RHEL 7 announcement, the company also revealed the results of record-setting benchmarking tests based on the new operating system version.

Red Hat, then, seems to be having a pretty good Patch Tuesday.