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Oracle Brings Real-Time Kernel Patching to Its Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 4

On January 8, 2016, Oracle, through Michele Casey, announced the release and general availability of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) 4 for the Oracle Linux operating system.

Oracle’s Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 4 is an important engineering effort and introduces performance improvements and enhancements for some of the most essential components, including CPU schedulers and Automatic NUMA Balancing, along with powerful new features, such as real-time kernel patching.

Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 4 is now available for the Oracle Enterprise Linux 6 and Oracle Enterprise Linux 7 series of operating systems based on Red Hat’s RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) OS, and real-time kernel patching was one of the most requested features by Oracle Linux customers.

Real-time kernel patching in Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is possible thanks to the Ksplice open-source extension of the Linux kernel 4 branch, which lets users to apply patches to the running kernel without the need to reboot the system, thus improving security and simplify the management of cloud infrastructures.

“The Oracle Linux team is pleased to announce the general availability of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 4 for Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Linux 7. This release, based on the 4.1 mainline kernel, delivers many important new features and enhancements engineered for modern cloud infrastructure,” said Michele Casey.

LZ4 compression algorithm, zram, zswap, and low-latency network polling

Among other features implemented in Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 4, we can mention low-latency network polling, support for the LZ4 compression algorithm, support for network batch transmissions, zram, zswap, support for key cloud technologies, including Xen, Open vSwitch, VXLAN, Docker, and LXC.

Furthermore, Oracle added a boost to the security of its Oracle Enterprise Linux systems, as well as to the hosted apps, by implementing features like a new random number system call, kernel address space randomization, and updates for the SELinux, SHA512, SHA256, and nftables programs.

There are also new real-time kernel features like timerless (tickless) multitasking and deadline scheduling class, support for Firefly-based Ceph Storage for Oracle Linux Release 1.0, Oracle Linux DTrace improvements, better InfiniBand support, updates to the Btrfs, EXT4, XFS, NFS, FUSE and OverlafFS filesystem, as well as updated drivers to support new hardware.

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