Novell Takes Wraps Off SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 achieves Microsoft interoperability with the Mono Extension, a new addition that lets companies run .Net apps on Linux without recompiling. The Mono Extension also enables mainframe-based consolidation of workloads, which paves the way for companies to run .Net-based apps on IBM System z.

SUSE Linux Enterprise includes Moonlight, Microsoft's version of Silverlight for Linux, as well as support for Windows multimedia file formats. Microsoft Office file format support is enabled through the inclusion of Novell Edition.

Gordon Haff, a principal IT adviser at Illuminata, a Nashua, N.H.-based research firm, said the new features stem mainly from Novell's efforts to differentiate itself from the Linux pack, but it's still unclear if Mono will be widely used as an alternative to running .Net apps on Windows.

It has been nearly three years since Novell released SUSE Enterprise Linux 10, but at this point, there aren't many earth-shattering new features being added to Linux releases, according to Haff.

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"These are relatively mature operating systems, so an awful lot of what goes into a Linux or Unix release these days is lots of little things," Haff said. "You're not going to see the kinds of major changes from release to release in Linux today that you saw five years ago."

Novell on Tuesday also launched ZENworks Linux Management 7.3, which adds advanced policy support for managing desktop and server systems.

In the second quarter, Novell will launch its High Availability Extension for SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, a clustering technology for ensuring the availability of mission-critical applications.

In April, Novell plans to launch its SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS (Just enough Operating System), which lets ISVs build virtual appliances with the specific pieces of SUSE Linux Enterprise they need.