What’s new in Red Hat 8.1. Live kernel patching and Red Hat Insights

Red-Hat-Enterprise-Linux-8.1

It’s been six months since Red Hat released the latest Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 8.0 update. Today the first minor version, the 8.1, has come out, which brings a series of improvements of which we want to highlight two that we find of special interest.

The first of these “Live Kernel Patching”introduces the possibility to update the Linux kernel for what are called “Common Critical or Important Vulnerabilities and Exposures” (CVEs) without having to worry about rebooting the system. That is to say, although it is not yet possible to carry out a complete update of its modules and functionalities (as if it can be done for years in IBM AIX systems) it opens up a path where our Red Hat-based systems do not require, for the sake of security, a reboot every time a major vulnerability arises. Perhaps the constant need for system reboots for different reasons remains a barrier to introducing Linux systems into critical environments that require high or near-full availability. This is undoubtedly a breakthrough, although there is still a long way to go.

The second novelty is that from now on, with the subscription to RHEL, you will have access to Red Hat Insights. Red Hat Insights is useful for troubleshooting configuration and performance tuning across more than 1,000 pre-configured rules to optimize RHEL in different environments, whether public clouds (AWS, Azure) or classic deployments with application servers and (MySQL Server, SAP HANA, etc. In this video where Red Hat explains in detail how this tool works.

Finally, as a bonus, RHEL 8.1 is the first version from which minor versions will be released every six months. While it’s now available for active RHEL subscriptions through the Red Hat Customer Portal, we recommend waiting a few months before upgrading, unless you volunteer to play beta-testers ;)

If you need support, do not hesitate to contact us. We have been working with UNIX and Linux environments for many years for major European companies. We perform deployments, migrations, consulting, performance tuning, and in general, anything a mission critical environment might require. We also offer tailor-made training on Red Hat and SUSe Linux.