As mentioned in the previous blog post on the latest Red Hat® Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 release, in-place upgrades substantially ease the process of moving from previous versions to the current one. That ability is partly due to the new capabilities made possible by development of the Linux 3.0.x kernel. Previous versions of the RHEL operating system came with the older, yet reliable, 2.5.x and 2.6.x kernels. In addition to offering new capabilities that streamline and automate installation and deployment, the 3.0.x kernel helps make possible new management and ease-of-use features.
That’s partly due to the basic functions of the UNIX kernel, which acts as a mediator for programs and hardware. It ensures that each of the processor’s cycles is distributed evenly. It also provides an interface through which programs can talk to hardware. Stable kernel updates, such as the 3.0.x version, offer the ability to control more types of hardware by increasing the number of enabled device drivers.
For example, the Linux 3.10 kernel version provides increased process management and has shown performance improvements in CPU-intensive benchmarks. This is partly due to the move from the RHEL 6-modified Linux 2.6.x kernel to the current version with its Intel P-state driver and various other enhancements. Moreover, the Linux 3.0.x kernel has been selected as a long-term support kernel, meaning that it will be closely maintained for up to two years.