SUSE Upgrades Linux Performance and Virtualization

SUSE has announced the general availability of SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Service Pack 2 (SP2), offering improved performance, enhanced file system support and virtualization capabilities. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP2 is notable from two perspectives, Kerry Kim, director, Solution Marketing, SUSE, tells 5 Minute Briefing. First, it is the first platform release since SUSE was reorganized as an independent business unit after The Attachmate Group acquisition. Second, the platform was created with a forward-looking development model, which will make it possible to deliver open source innovation faster to enterprises, while maintaining application compatibility. It is because of this new development approach that the company has been able to introduce many of its new features and enhancements, Kim notes.

A key new aspect to SP2 is the commercial support for the Btrfs file system support which improves scalability and data integrity while easing manageability. "There is common agreement that Btrfs is the future of Linux file systems," says Gerald Pfeifer, director of product management, SUSE, pointing to the snapshot functionality as being a particularly critical for change management and services availability.  In addition, geo clustering for high availability, and new Linux container support, which improves efficiency by lowering OS-level virtualization overhead in terms of management and resources, are among additional key features in the new release, says Pfeifer. Moreover, there is support for the latest industry-standard hardware, notes Kim.

According to the vendor, SUSE Linux Enterprise is the first Linux distribution to ship with the 3.0 kernel, offering support for over 500 of the latest CPUs, chipsets, storage and networking devices. Now customers can leverage the RAS features in Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron processors such as CPU and memory off-lining, MCA recovery and improved MPIO hardware support. SUSE Linux Enterprise SP2 also exploits new floating point and cryptographic features that deliver improved performance and security like AES-NI, as well as Intel Rapid Storage Technology enterprise, fully implemented for robust software RAID.  In addition, according to the company, SUSE Linux Enterprise is designed to work well with Xen, KVM, ESX and Hyper-V.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is a modular, general purpose operating system, designed for flexibility and scalability by offering optional extensions. The various products that make up the portfolio are benefiting from the new features that have been introduced as part of the new code base, says Kim.

SP2 also includes SUSE Linux Enterprise Server High Availability Extension, an integrated suite of open source clustering technologies that help customers implement enterprise-class clusters to ensure continuous access to systems and data, while reducing unplanned downtime. An additional feature available as a modular extension, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z, is designed as an alternative to x86 platforms for consolidating distributed server workloads, and leverages the resiliency of IBM System z mainframe hardware and hypervisor capabilities to reduce complexity and lower overall total cost of ownership.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time Extension transforms SUSE Linux Enterprise Server into a real-time operating system, specifically engineered to reduce latency, and increase the predictability and reliability of time-sensitive, mission-critical applications. SUSE Linux Enterprise Mono Extension enables organization to build and run Microsoft .NET-based applications on Linux.

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 (SP2) is available for download at