Novell launched SLE (SUSE Linux Enterprise) 11 SP 1 today, May 19th. At first glance, this major update to both SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) and SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) is quite impressive.
Technically, SLE 11 SP1 is based on openSUSE 11.2, the Novell community Linux distribution, which was released in November, and the 2.6.32 Linux kernel. OpenSUSE 11.2 is an outstanding distribution in its own right, and its commercially supported big brother is a worthy successor for business users.
From a corporate viewpoint, I see several important advantages. First, the new SLES is going to continue to support several kinds of virtualization.
While Red Hat has turned its back on Xen, Novell is continuing to support the Xen 4.0 hypervisor. In addition, SLE also includes support for KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine), Linux’s built in open-source virtualization hypervisor.
However, unlike any other Linux, it supports integration with Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor. SLE also includes SUSE Linux Enterprise Virtual Machine Driver Pack, a set of drivers which improves the performance of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual guests. The last, according to Novell’s PR manager, Kerry Adorno, is the fruit of Novell continuing to work closely with Microsoft.