CIQ Launches Support for Upstream Kernels in Rocky Linux
April 17, 2024

CIQ launched fully supported, upstream stable kernels for Rocky Linux via the CIQ Enterprise Linux Platform, providing enhanced performance, hardware compatibility and security.

The new offering from CIQ was built to meet the ultra-high performance, compatibility and security needs of the most advanced customers, and is now available to everyone. Development of the new offering stemmed from a storage use case where leveraging the large PCIe footprint of AMD EPYC processors was critical. Since then, additional use cases have emerged as organizations are realizing benefits of the upstream kernels. More information on support for upstream kernels can be found at: https://ciq.com/products/elp/.

CIQ provides these (upstream stable) kernels, which are designed to be compatible with and optimized for Rocky Linux. When modern kernels are coupled with the Rocky Linux user space, application compatibility remains consistent with all of the benefits of a much more recent kernel.

"Many of our customers with the most demanding workloads are realizing that to get the performance, efficiency, hardware compatibility and security they require, they need to run the upstream stable kernels," said Gregory Kurtzer, CEO of CIQ. "To meet these requirements, CIQ provides these kernels, which are designed to be compatible with and optimized for Rocky Linux. From a security perspective, this provides fixes for a far larger number of potential exploits, and thus CVE fixes are often 6 to 12 months ahead of the typical Enterprise Linux kernel. When modern kernels are coupled with the Rocky Linux user space, application compatibility remains consistent with all of the benefits of a much more recent kernel."

- Performance and Speed: The new offering delivers current innovations while optimizing for applications that demand low latency and speed. Built on the upstream Linux kernel (i.e., mainline stable and long-term stable releases), these performance-optimized kernels ensure that Rocky Linux users benefit from the most recent innovations. With user space tailored for compatibility for servers, workstations and edge computing, users can expect a reliable and consistent foundation for critical workloads such as high performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and data analytics at any scale.

- Compatibility: It supports the latest hardware and chipsets. The CIQ commitment to the Enterprise Linux user space API ensures seamless application and software compatibility across different versions. By partnering with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs), CIQ creates an ecosystem where software and hardware integrations work seamlessly across clouds.

- Security: The new offering provides faster fixes to security bugs compared to vendor-specific kernels that usually cherry pick upstream fixes only when CVEs are published. This means that the upstream kernels in many cases are six to 12 months ahead of the base Enterprise Linux kernel.

- Support: CIQ's Enterprise Linux Platform (which includes automation and long-term support for point releases) and support are globally available and open to CIQ customers anywhere they operate, with U.S.-based or locality-based solutions available.

Support for upstream kernels in Rocky Linux is now generally available.

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