10 Benefits included in a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription
By: Date: 13/11/2018 Categories: azure

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the leading Linux server operating system used by enterprises across the Fortune 500. One reason enterprises choose Red Hat as the strategic provider of their operating system infrastructure is because Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the thing that stays the same so that everything else can be different. Enterprise customers need a more secure, stable operating system but they also need to allow developers to be agile and use the latest packages and tooling. Red Hat recognises this balance of stability versus innovation.

A Red Hat subscription provides the latest enterprise-ready software from Red Hat, expert knowledge, product security, and technical support from trusted engineers making software the open source way. Below are just 10 (of the many) benefits included as part of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription, that all enterprise customers should be aware of in order to manage stability and innovation within their organisation, knowing they are supported by Red Hat:

  1. Product Lifecycle of 10 years, offering kernel stability, ABI and API compatibility, support and flexibility in planning  IT initiatives.  Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions 5, 6, and 7 each enjoy 10 years of support, followed by an Extended Life Phase (currently for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 & 6) where customers may extend limited subscription services beyond 10 years. See the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle page for more information.
  2. Download and use any supported version of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux software, meaning that you may upgrade to the latest version for no additional cost, and benefit from the latest features and improvements and avoid running into known fixed bugs in previous versions.
    Unlike proprietary software licenses, Red Hat subscriptions apply to the entire life cycle of the product through all its versions. Customers are entitled to upgrades and have flexibility in controlling the timing of upgrading systems.
  3. Access to Red Hat Software Collections (RHSCL), provides a path for developers to move to supported updated stable versions of languages and frameworks (e.g. Node.js, Perl and PHP), open source databases (eg MySQL), web infrastructure (e.g. Apache httpd and nginx), and other essential development tools (e.g. Git and the Eclipse IDE).
    The collections release occur roughly every six months and have a two to three year support life cycle.
    For details on accessing RHSCL see: How to use Red Hat Software Collections and Red Hat Software Collections .
  4. Access to Red Hat Developer Toolset (RDT), delivers the latest stable versions of development compiler toolsets and supporting development tools (e.g. the GNU Compiler Collection & GDB) to enhance developer productivity and improve deployment times. Each major update is supported for 2 years.  For more information, see: How to use Red Hat Developer Toolset and Red Hat Developer Toolset and Eclipse IDE.
  5. Allows in-place upgrades, so customers may upgrade a system to a new major release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux by replacing the existing operating system without doing a complete re-install. Currently, customers may perform an in-place upgrade from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.
    Before proceeding with an in-place upgrade, Red Hat recommends opening a support case to describe your specific use case so that Red Hat support engineers may provide specific guidance for a smooth upgrade experience. For details regarding procedures and supported scenarios, see Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Migration Planning and How do I upgrade from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 to 7?
  6. Allows live kernel patching, avoiding the need for a system reboot. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2, and later versions, offer kpatch for Premium Subscriptions. Customers with a Premium Subscription may request a live kernel patch by opening a support case and providing details of the relevant bug or CVE. A Red Hat support engineer will respond and may facilitate the upgrade by providing you with a patch that will be supported for 30 days. Learn more with our Guide to kpatch on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 and Later.  
  7. Access to Red Hat Enterprise Linux documentation, including release notes, installation, migration planning, system admin, virtualisation, developer and security related information. Example documents that some customers have found useful are the Developer Guide  and Recommended Practices for Container Development. If you have any queries, you may discuss topics with other Red Hat Enterprise Linux users in the community forum or raise a support case for a technical support engineer for a more formal response.
    To access the Red Hat Enterprise Linux documentation area, see Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 User Documentation.
    You may also access publications and digital assets (data sheets, white papers, case studies, reference architectures, brochures and infographics) here: Red Hat Publications and Digital Assets.
  8. Access to Red Hat Customer Portal Labs: Red Hat engineers have developed a set of tools to help customers use Red Hat products to their full potential. You will find more than 60 labs categorised by:
    1. Configuration: Red Hat Enterprise Linux backup and restore assistant and Multipath helper, and others.
    2. Deployment: a Kickstart generator and Rescue Mode Assistant, among others.
    3. Security: an L1 Terminal Fault Vulnerability Detector and Red Hat Security Data API, and more.
    4. Troubleshooting: Like the Storage / LVM configuration viewer and Kdump helper.

View all the Red Hat Customer Portal Labs at Red Hat Customer Portal Labs.

  1. Broad ecosystem of supported hardware platforms and ISVs. Customers often require solutions that go beyond the capabilities of a single vendor and rely on each vendor’s complementary strengths to access innovation, minimize costs, maximize efficiency, avoid proprietary lock-in and deliver business needs.

    Red Hat engineers collaborate with a global ecosystem of partners to test, support, and certify third party solutions to perform with Red Hat technologies. The Customer Portal provides access to an expansive catalog of certified hardware (eg CISCO, Dell, EMC and HPE), software (eg Oracle, Symantec and Veritas), cloud services (eg AWS, Fujitsu, Microsoft and Rackspace), and container images, providing greater peace of mind that your multivendor environment is stable and supported.

    For details, see: Products and services tested, supported, and certified to perform with Red Hat technologies, and view supported container images in the Red Hat Container Catalog.
  2. Specialised functions and features.  Along with an enterprise grade operating system, there are a number of additional functions and features which are included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.  Some examples can be found below:
    1. SELinux.  Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) is an implementation of a Mandatory Access Control mechanism in the Linux kernel which provides an additional layer of security, which checks for allowed operations after standard discretionary access controls are checked.  Enabling SELinux helps prevent malicious or poorly written programs from doing harm to the overall system. For more information, see: SELinux User Guide.
    2. Firewall. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 provides firewall services through the firewalld service which is enabled by default. System administrators can manage services and zones to enhance network security within the environment natively through Linux tools.  More info can be found at: Guide to using firewalld in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.
    3. Identity Management. Red Hat Identity Management (IdM) provides a centralized and unified way to manage identity stores, authentication, authorization and other policies in a Linux-based domain. IdM can significantly reduce the administrative overhead of managing different services individually and using different tools on different machines. IdM can integrate with Active Directory to provide organisation-wide authentication services. More information is available here: Identify Management on Red Hat Enterprise Linux7.
    4. KVM. Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) provides the support to create, run, and manage a limited number of virtual machines and is included by default in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.  More information can be found here: Getting Started with Red Hat Virtualization and Virtualization limits for Red Hat Enterprise Linux with KVM .
    5. Cockpit.  Cockpit is a user-friendly web-based interface for administering servers. It allows monitoring system resources and adjusting configuration with ease. The Cockpit dashboard will show system based resources such as Networking, user accounts, systemd services, subscriptions, SELinux details and diagnostic reports. See: Cockpit Documentation.

BONUS: Have you heard about the Red Hat Developer Program that provides a no cost developer subscription for individual developer use?  Red Hat Software Collections is also available for no-cost for developer use as well as Red Hat Developer Toolset.

To learn more about the value of a Red Hat Subscription, please see: