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Suse Linux Enterprise ubiquity

Under the term "ubiquity", Pfeifer draws together issues such as scalability, virtualisation and "Green-IT" (power saving), as well as desktop preloads (SLED preinstalled on desktop systems and laptops from suppliers such as HP and MSI) and appliances. In the virtualisation field, Novell applies the 'best guest' principle – for every application the right solution. Following this principle, SLE 11 works together with, not only the integrated Xen 3.3, but also the KVM virtualisation solution (rival Red Hat's preferred solution), VMware (VMI kernel) and Microsoft's Hyper-V.

In the appliances field, Novell has primarily set its sights on software appliances, despite the fact that the company has collaborated with various hardware manufacturers in areas such as network storage for several years and develops hardware appliances based on SUSE Linux Enterprise. With the help of SUSE Studio (currently at the alpha testing stage), it's possible to create appliances with individually assembled software starting from a minimal version of SUSE. For ISVs, Novell also plans to provide specially optimised SLE versions for integration with specific applications.

The SLED 11 desktop.
Zoom The SLED 11 desktop.

The new version 11 freshens up Novell's enterprise Linux software features. SLE 11 includes kernel version 2.6.27, 7.4, version 4.3.2 of the GCC compiler and both KDE and GNOME desktop environments in the latest 4.1.3 (KDE) and 2.24 (GNOME) versions. As well as Novell's own AppArmor security extension, in common with OpenSuse 11.1 the SLE 11 kernel also includes SELinux, though, as a technology preview, it is provided without Novell support and without an SELinux policy. Novell has revised its package management software and added the zypper command line tool, familiar from OpenSuse.

Novell has beefed up interoperability in heterogeneous network environments by implementing the Common Information Model (CIM) and adding Web Services for Management (WS-Management) support. Compatibility with the Windows world is enhanced by both the Mono extension and the inclusion in SLE 11 of Moonlight, Novell's open source implementation of Microsoft's Flash competitor, Silverlight. The Mono application brings proprietary media formats such as WMA and WMV to the Linux desktop.

SLE 11 and the Mono extension are available for x86, x64, Itanium, PPC und IBM's System z mainframe lines. Depending on the platform, the Linux distribution supports between 32 (x86) and 4096 processors (Itanium) and 16 GB (x86) to 4 TB (Itanium) of RAM. The installation media (including via PXE boot) should allow migration from SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 with Service Pack 2. The price for SLE 11 is, according to Novell, the same as for the previous version. Novell plans to start shipping the SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension in the second quarter of this year.

More information on SLE 11 can be found in the release notes

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