Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 Debuts

April 29, 2021

Red Hat introduced new capabilities and enhancements to the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, furthering Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a powerful foundation for the open hybrid cloud, from the datacenter to the edge. Generally available in the coming weeks, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 refines the platform’s role as a lightweight, production grade operating system for edge deployments, adding new Linux container, deployment and management capabilities scaled for the needs of edge computing.

According to "The State of Enterprise Open Source" from Red Hat, 72% of IT leaders surveyed expect open source to drive adoption of edge computing over the next two years. The Linux Foundation’s "2021 State of the Edge" predicts that by 2025, Internet-of-Things (IoT) or edge-related devices will produce roughly 90 zettabytes of data. To Red Hat, this indicates that the importance of edge computing as a footprint of the open hybrid cloud will only grow in the years to come, making preparations for the rigors of edge computing a crucial need for CIOs and IT leaders.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux serves as the production foundation for Fortune 500 industries across the world, from global financial institutions and healthcare systems to manufacturing powerhouses and government agencies. The platform pairs greater consistency and control of hybrid cloud environments with the ability to adopt open innovation gradually or all-at-once, furthering the confidence that deployments are more secure and reliable. With the added capabilities of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4, Red Hat extends this functionality into edge deployments.

Stefanie Chiras, senior vice president and general manager, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Business Unit, Red Hat said, "The open hybrid cloud isn’t limited to an enterprise datacenter or public cloud environments; it includes the remote servers, advanced machinery and other devices that exist on the far reaches of the enterprise network. The disparate nature of these footprints means that consistency is critical to success - Red Hat Enterprise Linux, as the backbone for the Red Hat Edge initiative, provides this consistent, edge-native and intelligent platform to meet the dynamic demands of the hybrid cloud, from bare-metal servers to the cloud to the edge."

Introducing Red Hat Edge

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the established foundation for the Red Hat Edge initiative, which aims to extend the capabilities of Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud portfolio to the edge, from telecommunications and transportation to smart automobiles and enterprise devices.

Red Hat’s full breadth of open technologies build out an edge-ready technology stack, encompassing Red Hat Enterprise Linux as well as:

Red Hat OpenShift which includes support for 3-node clusters and remote worker nodes, making it possible to deploy the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform in space- or resource-constrained locations.

Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes which delivers powerful, flexible Kubernetes management capabilities across the open hybrid cloud and extends centralized IT control from the datacenter to the furthest network edge.

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to help automate the workflows of maintaining software stacks on edge devices.

Red Hat Integration to connect applications and data across edge deployments and the open hybrid cloud.

Red Hat Data Services to store, analyze and distribute data across edge and data centers.

Enterprise Linux containers, scaled for the edge

Edge deployments often heavily rely on Linux containers to make it easier to build, deploy and maintain workloads across disparate locations. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 helps maintain standardization and control across these images, starting with updates to Podman, Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s open standards-based container engine. Podman enables the management of containers across the open hybrid cloud from a single central point, whether running in the datacenter or at a remote edge location, and provides the capability for automatic container updates, making it easier to keep containerized workloads at the edge running properly and more securely.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 adds new functionality to Image Builder, a tool that creates customized, deployable operating system images for a variety of uses. For edge computing workloads, Image Builder now supports the creation of installation media tailored for bare metal, which helps IT teams maintain a common foundation even across disconnected edge environments.

The Red Hat Universal Base Image (UBI), Red Hat Enterprise Linux userspace content that can be run inside containers, has also received enhancements in the latest release. UBI enables containers to retain Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s same production-grade traits, like enhanced security and efficiency, at the application level. For edge computing, UBI is now available in a lightweight (micro) image, making it ideal for building redistributable, cloud-native applications standardized on an enterprise-grade Linux foundation without the overhead of an entire kernel deployment.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux across the open hybrid cloud

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 is more than a foundation for edge. The latest version of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform adds new and enhanced capabilities to more broadly help organizations build, deploy and maintain hybrid cloud strategies, from the datacenter to the cloud.

Additional key features include:

Greater flexibility for cloud-based applications with a more holistic view of subscription deployment and reporting through Red Hat Insights Subscriptions as well as expanded support for Red Hat Cloud Access.

More simplified and automated system configuration and management through the Tracer utility and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Web Console updates, providing intelligent guidance around system patching and updates to help identify downtime due to service restarts or system reboots.

Extended security capabilities designed to help address the needs of IT organizations at hybrid cloud-scale, with a Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Role for Crypto Policies and Network-Bound Disk Encryption (NBDE) delivered as a container across distributed environments.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 also benefits from new, powerful additions to Red Hat Insights, Red Hat’s proactive management offering, to help bolster IT security, system analysis and management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. Red Hat Insights is available by default with all active Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform subscriptions


Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 is scheduled to be generally available in the coming weeks via the Red Hat customer portal.

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