SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 is here

SUSE

Novell's epic-length press release for SLE11 just landed in our inboxes, and there are a few interesting points worth picking out. Read on for Novell's corporate take on the recession, Microsoft .NET, virtualisation and cloud computing...

On the recession

"A recent survey conducted by IDC and sponsored by Novell confirmed that around 50 percent of IT executives are planning to increase their adoption of Linux server and desktop technologies this year because of the economic downturn," said Jeff Jaffe, chief technology officer at Novell.

While we're always glad to hear of Linux uptake rising, we think it's important to remember that whenever Microsoft sponsors a study Linux users dismiss it immediately. Still, any business with common sense should at least be re-evaluating their options right now if they want to survive.

On Microsoft .NET

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 delivers innovations across the enterprise. The platform contains major enhancements to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and delivers two new extensions – SUSE Linux Enterprise Mono® Extension, the only product that enables customers to run fully supported Microsoft .NET-based applications on Linux

The key words in there are "fully supported" - Mono has of course been around for a little while, but now Novell is saying it will support your use of it on its enterprise platform. If you're into Microsoft interoperability, this is of course a good thing - Mono lets people take lots of Windows .NET apps and run them unmodified on Linux.

The flip side of this is that a huge number of people absolutely detest Mono and anything it touches. No, seriously: there's a huge number of people of Mono haters out there who get really, really angry about it, and they are dead set against it spreading. This isn't really a surprise given how fast Mono has taken over in SUSE Linux - we've been playing around with OpenSUSE 11.1, and it's quite scary how many Mono apps are in there, even when they are clearly not as good as their non-Mono equivalents (case in point: Monsoon).

On virtualisation and cloud computing

"As virtualisation realises its full potential and cloud computing begins to transform the data centre, operating systems need to be engineered to enable these new solutions," said Matt Eastwood, group vice president at IDC. "By fully supporting physical, virtual, appliance and cloud computing models with SUSE Linux Enterprise, Novell can help customers at each step in the evolution of the data centre. For customers seeking an operating system that works with their existing IT infrastructure while reducing the cost of enterprise computing, Novell has delivered SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 and a comprehensive set of solutions for identity, security and systems management."

See, it's this kind of quote that scares us. This quote is saying that Novell is perfectly positioned to serve all sorts of customer needs while reducing costs, etc, etc. And yet it comes from IDC, the company that Novell paid to analyse how the recession is likely to impact the Linux marketplace. We're not saying that Matt Eastwood or IDC are biased, but we are saying we're less inclined to trust their results when they do seem to be touting the Novell company line.

Anyway, enough with our cynicism. You read the press release below and tell us what you think - is Novell losing sight of the core values of free software? If one of the strengths of Linux is avoiding vendor lock-in, is it becoming increasingly hard to choose Novell given how much of its own software is unique to its solutions?

Novell ships SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

Next-generation SUSE Linux Enterprise platform delivers cost-effective, mission-critical computing across the enterprise, including physical, virtual, appliance and cloud deployments.

WALTHAM, Mass. – March 24, 2009 – Novell today announced the availability of SUSE® Linux Enterprise 11, the operating system designed for the next-generation data centre. As data centres become more heterogeneous, customers are demanding a cost-effective platform that can run their applications reliably and with high performance on any hardware platform and hypervisor as well as in appliances and cloud computing infrastructures. With SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, Novell is delivering the leading mission-critical Linux* platform to allow customers to economically deploy workloads wherever and however they choose, with complete support from Novell and its global partner ecosystem of solution and hardware providers and independent software vendors (ISVs).

"A recent survey1 conducted by IDC and sponsored by Novell confirmed that around 50 percent of IT executives are planning to increase their adoption of Linux server and desktop technologies this year because of the economic downturn," said Jeff Jaffe, chief technology officer at Novell. "With the release of SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, Novell is helping IT professionals save money while addressing other key issues identified in the survey, such as interoperability, support for mission-critical computing and the flexibility to deploy Linux in a wide range of environments."

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 delivers innovations across the enterprise. The platform contains major enhancements to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and delivers two new extensions – SUSE Linux Enterprise Mono® Extension, the only product that enables customers to run fully supported Microsoft* .NET-based applications on Linux, and SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension, a clustering product that ensures uptime for mission-critical applications while slashing the cost of ownership for high availability. As the operating system for the next-generation IT infrastructure, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 was designed using three core themes: ubiquity, interoperability and mission-critical computing.

"As virtualisation realises its full potential and cloud computing begins to transform the data centre, operating systems need to be engineered to enable these new solutions," said Matt Eastwood, group vice president at IDC. "By fully supporting physical, virtual, appliance and cloud computing models with SUSE Linux Enterprise, Novell can help customers at each step in the evolution of the data centre. For customers seeking an operating system that works with their existing IT infrastructure while reducing the cost of enterprise computing, Novell has delivered SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 and a comprehensive set of solutions for identity, security and systems management."

World-class Partner Ecosystem

As part of a complete solution, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 will be supported by Novell's global strategic partners – including Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, Oracle and SAP AG – and its entire ecosystem of solution, integration, hardware and software partners. Together, Novell with its partners deliver the world-class implementation, technical support and training services customers have come to expect. Novell has also invested significant resources in building an expansive independent software vendor application catalog for SUSE Linux Enterprise.

"SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 has been designed with both customers and partners in mind," said Ken Simon, vice president of Sales, Enterico Division of Continental Resources. "We have collaborated with Novell to ensure our customer requirements have been reflected in the next generation of the product. Combined with the large ISV ecosystem surrounding the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform, we can now deliver the complete, integrated solutions that our customers are seeking."

Paul Miller, vice president of Marketing, Enterprise Servers and Storage at HP, said, "In today’s economy, customers find it increasingly important to reduce costs yet extract more value and flexibility from their technology environment. Deploying Linux for highly available core business applications is a reality that HP and Novell are delivering today on HP Integrity and ProLiant servers running SUSE Linux Enterprise."

Doug Fisher, vice president, Intel Software and Services Group, and general manager, Systems Software Division, said, "From desktop to data centre, for physical or virtual environments, and for the new wave of mobile devices and appliances, SUSE Linux Enterprise running on Intel processors provides the flexibility customers need. Intel is a strong supporter of Linux running demanding virtualised workloads in the enterprise, and we're very pleased to continue to support Novell with the launch of SUSE Linux Enterprise 11."

Ted MacLean, general manager of strategic alliances & licensing at Microsoft, said, "Customers place a very high value on the interoperability and strong technical cooperation between Microsoft and Novell, and the new release of SUSE Linux Enterprise continues that ground-breaking innovation. The scale and scope of the strategic agreement with Novell is unique, and provides customers with innovative solutions for mixed-source environments, both physical and virtual."

Advanced Linux Management

Giving customers a powerful option to manage their Linux systems, Novell is also announcing today the availability of Novell® ZENworks® Linux Management 7.3, which extends policy-driven automation to SUSE Linux Enterprise 11. Managing both desktop and server systems, ZENworks Linux Management makes it easy to deploy, manage and maintain Linux resources with advanced policies for desktops and servers. When used with SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, ZENworks Linux Management enables customers to reduce the time and cost spent managing their IT infrastructure.

Ubiquity: Linux how you want it, where you want it

Customers need unparalleled flexibility from their operating systems. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 runs on the leading hardware platforms, including x86-32, x86-64, Itanium*, IBM* POWER* and IBM System z*. In addition, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 has been optimized to run at near-native performance on all major hypervisors, including VMware* ESX, Microsoft Hyper-V and Xen*.

For deploying Linux in the cloud, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 will be certified and supported in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Novell is collaborating with IBM to deliver SUSE Linux Enterprise 11-based virtual instances of IBM DB2*, Informix* Dynamic Server, WebSphere* sMash, IBM Lotus* Web Content Management and IBM WebSphere* Portal instances for cloud environments. Currently, customers deploying Linux desktops have been able to obtain SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop preloaded from leading hardware vendors, including Dell and HP. With SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11, Novell will continue to bring desktop Linux ubiquity to the market across a variety of devices, including desktops, notebooks, netbooks, nettops and thin clients.

Many customers are removing complexity from their application deployment and management processes with virtual appliances – integrated images with a complete preconfigured suite including application, middleware and operating system. To continue to lead in this rapidly growing market, Novell is delivering SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS (Just enough Operating System) and a suite of tools that enables ISVs to assemble a virtual appliance with just the pieces of SUSE Linux Enterprise necessary to support their specific application. Uniquely, appliances that pass Novell's supportability algorithm will receive technical support for their custom JeOS configuration of SUSE Linux Enterprise 11. More details on this program and the appliance construction toolkit will be released later this year.

Interoperability: Leverage existing IT investments

With SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, Novell continues to provide the most interoperable Linux solutions that leverage customers' existing IT investments. Thanks to its ground-breaking, five-year partnership with Microsoft, Novell has engineered SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 to work seamlessly with Microsoft Windows* in the areas of cross-platform virtualization, systems management, identity/directory federation, document compatibility, MoonlightTM (Microsoft Silverlight on Linux) and desktop accessibility for the disabled. In addition to new support for Silverlight, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 features the ability to play Windows multimedia file formats and the latest version of OpenOffice.org Novell Edition that supports a range of Microsoft Office file formats.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Mono Extension is a new product that provides the first commercial support for the open source Mono project's application platform, enabling enterprises to seamlessly run .NET applications on Linux without having to recompile. SUSE Linux Enterprise Mono Extension allows organizations to consolidate their .NET applications onto Linux, dramatically saving costs. Novell is also offering the SUSE Linux Enterprise Mono Extension for customers performing mainframe-based workload consolidation. This allows them to run .NET-based applications on IBM System z, the first time this has been offered by any Linux vendor.

Mission-Critical Computing: Designed to support your most important business needs

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 enables customers to confidently migrate workloads from UNIX to Linux in order to build a low-cost, resilient infrastructure. SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension delivers an innovative, integrated suite of open source clustering technologies that help customers reduce unplanned downtime while providing an affordable alternative to expensive proprietary offerings. A new support infrastructure provides enhanced problem resolution to assist customers in resolving inquiries quickly and accurately.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 now supports swap over the NFS (Network File System) protocol to leverage remote storage for local server needs and avoid costly application downtime. In addition, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 provides the fastest package update stack of any enterprise Linux distribution, with new technologies to automate and accelerate installing, removing, upgrading and configuring software packages. Delivering the new Xen 3.3 hypervisor, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 continues to set the standard for open source virtualization, with greater scalability, performance and security, enhanced power management and improved graphical capabilities.

Later this year, Novell plans to release the next version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time Extension, which will leverage the SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 code base to reduce latency and increase predictability and reliability of time-sensitive, mission-critical applications.

"Office Depot chose to standardize on SUSE Linux Enterprise in an effort to reduce the complexity of our systems and control costs, while maintaining superior performance for our global systems," said Tim Toews, senior vice president and chief information officer of Office Depot. "As we have moved more applications and volume to commodity platforms, SUSE Linux Enterprise has been able to scale to support our business needs."

- ENDS -

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Your comments

KDE?

Sooo, can you get it with KDE as well as Gnome and, if so, which version of KDE are they shipping?

KDE!

So, it's 4.1.2 then. Hmm...

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