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Red Hat and IBM announced that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 with the KVM hypervisor, run on IBM Systems has been awarded Common Criteria Certification at Evaluation Assurance Level 4+. The Common Criteria is an internationally recognized set of standards used by the U.S. government, other organizations and businesses to assess the security and assurance of technology products. This security certification is the first of its kind for an open source virtualization solution.
The certification means that KVM hypervisor on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and IBM x86 servers has met U.S. federal government security standards allowing open virtualization to be used in Homeland Security projects, command-and-control operations, and throughout government agencies. The U.S. governmental bodies were previously limited to proprietary virtualization technologies.
Open virtualization offers organizations, including government agencies and financial businesses, the opportunity to reduce costs and increase choice with the enterprise-grade KVM hypervisor.
RHEL 5 features Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux), a project developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Red Hat. This Common Criteria certification allows for use of the RHEL 5 with the KVM hypervisor with confidence as they host many tenants on the same machine, while the virtual guests VM's will be fully separated from each other. The certification of KVM and RHEL 5 applies to IBM System x, BladeCenter and iDataPlex servers.
Red Hat said that its latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.3 offers enhanced ability of the OS to run x86-64 virtualized environments. Red Hat increased to 126 the number of physical CPUs that can be supported per RHEL instance. It also boosted maximum memory per machine to 1TB. The company has also increased the limits on virtual CPU and memory, paravirtualized device drivers, and the number of allowed users for disks and network interfaces.
5.3 is the first version of RHEL that features a fully supported version of OpenJDK, an open-source implementation of Java SE 6. Red Hat said that any Java program written for Java SE 6 can now run RHEL 5.3.
Another new tool is a SystemTap. This is RHEL's first tracing and profiling application. RHEL 5.3 also has a new set of power-management controls and full-disk encryption at the block or file system level.
The new version of RHEL also aggregates the many bug fixes and comes with 150 software updates and upgrades. It supports Intel's Tylersburg/Nehalem.