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“Real-time” Linux distro tapped for enterprise VoIP

Mar 18, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Red Hat has announced that its new “real-time” Linux distribution will be used by telecom equipment manufacturer Alcatel-Lucent in communications systems for the SME (small- and medium-sized enterprise) market. Red Hat “MRG” (messaging, realtime, and grid) ensures that real-time application threads run at the highest priority, and with minimal interruption, Red Hat said.

Alcatel-Lucent will use the recently introduced Red Hat MRG in its voice, data, mobility, and collaboration products, according to Red Hat. These include the OmniPCX Office family of IP-PBX systems, and the Extended Communication Server family of collaboration and unified communication servers. Alcatel will apparently continue to use MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition on its high-end enterprise carrier equipment.

Red Hat MRG is a variant of Red Hat Enterprise Linux that includes the MRG real-time kernel update for improved real-time performance, says Red Hat. MRG is said to ensure that real-time priority application threads run at the highest priority and are minimally interrupted for handling lower priority processes and system services. Features include:

  • Low latency interrupt handling — breaks up lengthy, non-interruptible, code paths inherent in device interrupt handlers into separately schedule-able portions to reduce system non-determinism
  • Enhanced priority handling — fine-grained tuning control, such as scheduling network processing at higher priority than disk and storage processing
  • Priority inversion avoidance — provides priority inheritance to ensure that lower priority processes do not block higher priority processes, when used with the glibc runtime library
  • Timer precision — hardware-based event timers for more accurate and predictable timing
  • Latency tracer — a peak detector for identifying the longest running, non-preemptable kernel codepaths, in order to determine whether non-deterministic response times are occurring in kernel or application space

Stated Paul Cormier, EVP of Engineering at Red Hat, “Red Hat's technology is well suited to handle mission-critical applications such as real-time enterprise communications.”


Alcatel-Lucent SME products running Red Hat MRG are expected in the first half of 2009. More information on Alcatel-Lucent's SME line may be found here.

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