SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 software goes software-defined

EARLIER this week, SUSE announced Linux Enterprise version 15, a jump from version 12 (both 13 and 14 are held to be unlucky to superstitious types in Western and Chinese societies).

The new released is based on version 4.12 of the Linux kernel and is suitable for a wider range of chipsets than its predecessor, including ARM devices — increasingly found powering internet of things (IoT) devices. This follows on from March when SUSE put out a port of its Linux Enterprise Suite (SLES) for the typically tiny devices.

SLES is designed to make life easier for developers to move applications over multimodal IT environments; multimodal in the sense of being a mixture of traditional infrastructure, software-defined infrastructure, containerized applications, cloud (public and private) deployments, and a combination of all of the above.

SUSE Linux Enterprise has been a mainstay of systems administrators in data centers, being particularly competent at setting up cloud-based services for the enterprise.

Its less-often-than-average release cycle (version 12 being the last major release in 2014) is due to the fact that only well-tested and stable components are certified to use with the AS. Even service packs come once in a blue moon.

Version 15 SUSE Linux Enterprise does not go public until the middle of next month, although SUSE Manager 3.2 is available.

With the same code base across multiple products, the release is designed to scale and be responsive as enterprise moves its applications and services onto new platforms such as public cloud, & Kubernetes-managed microservice environments, and offers new IoT functions.

Jay Kruemcke, SLES Product Manager for ARM, told The Register: “SUSE already has multiple customers implementing industrial automation/IoT monitoring using SLES for ARM on the Raspberry Pi. There has also been significant interest from other customers interested in using SLES for ARM […].”

The operating system, being open source, remains free; SUSE’s revenue streams are derived in the main from support contracts. Holders of current support subscriptions will receive all the benefits of the new version as part of their current provision.

SUSE Linux Enterprise is a highly mature business-oriented operating system and has been around for nearly 20 years.

“Organizations today face increasing pressure to become more agile and economically efficient in order to grow, compete and survive,” said SUSE’s CTO Thomas Di Giacomo. “They must leverage digital assets, information, and an explosion of new infrastructure software innovation to fuel and enable their digital transformation.”

The SLA 15 platform includes:

  • SLE for Intel/AMD 64 bit, POWER, ARM, z Systems and LinuxONE
  • SLE Server for SAP Application
  • SLE High-Performance Computing (HPC)
  • SLE High Availability Extension (includes Geo Clustering)
  • SLE Live Patching
  • SLE Desktop
  • SLE Workstation Extension

The modular approach allows customers to install only features as required, which lowers system requirements and reduces the size of installation footprint, with all the associated security benefits thereof.

Based on a random survey at the SUSE expert forum, the company reckons that about half its user base will move over to the new version in the next year.