posted by Khoo Boon Kiat on Tue 2nd Sep 2003 17:58 UTC
IconRed Hat released the beta for their upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) line. The release is tagged release 2.95, Taroon. The next official release will probably be called RHEL release 3 (as usual, Red Hat does not confirm their upcoming release version and date).

0. Introduction

The beta comes in two flavours.
- RHEL release 2.95 AS for server and clustering solution
- RHEL release 2.95 WS for workstation

Click for a larger viewThe current production release, which is RHEL release 2.1 has 3 different flavours, namely the RHEL AS for clustering, RHEL ES for enterprise server and RHEL WS for workstation. Red Hat release notes highlighted that the ES is similar to the AS and thus the beta comes in 2 flavours.

In order to test the RHEL AS, 3 ISOs are required.
- taroon-i386-as-disc1.iso
- taroon-i386-disc2.iso
- taroon-i386-disc3.iso

The second and third iso are common to both AS and WS while the first iso image for the RHEL WS is taroon-i386-ws-disc1.iso

Download all 3 iso images, burn it, put in the first CD and the installation starts. This review is on RHEL release 2.95 AS, ia32 platform.

The hardware used for this review is as below:
- Intel Celeron 1GHz, Asus CUSI/FX, 256MB SDRAM
- Western Digital 40GB IDE harddisk, SONY IDE CD/RW drive

To run the clustering solution of RHEL AS, the hardware requirements are very strict. Basically you will need
- Two servers, processors, memory etc.. :-)
- Four NICs on two servers (two for external ethernet connections, two for internal ethernet heartbeat).
- A null Serial cable for serial heartbeat.
- A power switch which enables Shoot The Other Node In The Head (STONITH).
- Local storage to host the AS installation.
- Fibre Channel Host Base Adaptor (HBA) on both server.
- A shared storage, preferably Fibre Channel share storage to store all shared files.
Check the RHEL AS Installation Guide, the hardware requirements are detailed down to the model number. :-)

As you can see, the testing platform is no where near the recommended hardware requirement, thus I did not test the clustering solution.

1. Installation

The installation routine is very similar to Red Hat Linux 9 (RHL 9), with the nice GUI and similar setup screens. Just configure as you would for a normal Red Hat Linux installation. However, there are some new features as opposed to the AS 2.1 installation
- You will be asked for root password during the installation, but not the option to create new users. User creation will be done during the firstboot screen when the server boots for the first time
- The ability to create LVM volume during installation

Installation is pretty straight forward, with the package selection screen similar to what is in RHL 9. There is an extra package group call the Red Hat Enterprise Linux which contains 5 packages.
- clumanager, which is the High Availability (HA) clustering solution.
- piranha, clustering solution based on Linux Virtual Server (LVS).
- redhat-config-cluster, the new GUI to configure HA clustering.
- redhat-config-netboot, GUI to configure diskless environment and network installations.
- tux, the khttpd server.

Note that if you are interested in testing the Taroon using VMWare Workstation V4, the BusLogic SCSI driver had been taken out from the default installation kernel. You would need to configure an IDE virtual disk to perform the test.

Table of contents
  1. "Introduction, Installation"
  2. "Operations, Conclusions"
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