SUSE Woos Unix Owners With Linux OS Update

The new SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Service Pack 3, the first upgrade of the software in almost 18 months, also supports Intel's Xeon Processor E5 line, otherwise known as "Haswell," and the AMD Opteron 4000 and 6000 Series processors. SUSE Linux also runs on Intel's Itanium processors and IBM's Power and System z systems.

Server manufacturers and their customers are migrating off legacy RISC/Unix systems to Linux and that's driving demand for Linux systems that can handle high-performance computing tasks, said George Shi, SUSE product marketing manager, in an interview. Widespread adoption of virtualization technology for server consolidation also is increasing demand for operating systems with more powerful capabilities, he said.

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"Achieving greater efficiency through workload consolidation and increasing server utilization is a constant concern for our customers," said Scott Shaffer, director of Linux server engineering at Hewlett-Packard.

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Attachmate SUSE is competing with Red Hat and other distributors of Linux to capture customers looking for a migration path off legacy Unix systems.

HP offers SUSE Linux with its HP ProLiant servers, including the HP ProLiant Gen8 line. Shaffer said the CPU, memory, I/O and KVM performance enhancements in Service Pack 3 would specifically help the company meet those customer demands.

Novell owned SUSE Linux at the time Attachmate acquired Novell in early 2011 for $2.2 billion. Attachmate now operates SUSE as a company division.

Service Pack 3 supports up to 4,096 logical CPUs and 16 TB of system memory, according to the vendor, and supports the latest KVM 1.4 and Xen 4.2 virtualization software. The operating system update includes the newest open-source clustering technologies and enhancements for working with shared storage systems.

The Service Pack 3 upgrade, which is available for download today, spans much of the SUSE Linux Enterprise line, including SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Server for System z, High Availability Extension, Desktop, Server for VMware and Virtual Machine Driver Pack.