Red Hat vows better instructions for beta OS

Red Hat will improve the documentation for virtualization technology for the second beta of Linux Enterprise 5, due for release within weeks

The beta release of Red hat Enterprise Linux 5 has some "warts," a Red Hat executive said Thursday, adding that the company will improve its documentation for the second beta release, particularly concerning virtualization.

Red Hat's beta testers had a far more positive reaction than what appeared in press reports, said Tim Yeaton, senior vice president of worldwide marketing and general manager of enterprise solutions. But Yeaton predicted a stronger beta 2, scheduled for release "within weeks," that will include a beta user's guide, he said.

"This is complicated technology, particularly when you take it to production," Yeaton said. "Customers need it to perform. We needed to make sure the documentation is at a state where people can actually use the system."

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 includes Xen virtualization technology, which allows multiple copies of an operating system to run on a piece of hardware, potentially reducing the energy costs and machines required for a given task.

Competitor Novell put Xen in its Suse Linux 10 Server release in July. Enterprise Linux 5 is scheduled for a general release early next year, Yeaton said, and the company does not plan a third beta release.

In other developments, Yeaton said Red Hat has joined the European Community Open Platform for User-Centric Service Creation and Execution (OPUCE), a consortium designing future service delivery platforms for the telecommunications industry.

The company will push its Enterprise Linux as an OS for carriers, and also promote the JBoss Middleware Suite, part of its US$350 million acquisition of JBoss in April.

Red Hat sees the telecommunications industry "catching fire" in the near future, as carriers upgrade their systems for features such as IP (Internet protocol) telephony, Yeaton said. Red Hat now has a dedicated team to understand the industry's needs, he said.

"What we're now seeing with these next generation SDPs (service delivery platforms) is a desire to start to retool that underlying platform using more open source operating system technology and middleware," Yeaton said.

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