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Novell Launches Suse 11 With Eye On Virtual Appliances

SLES 11 also will soon be certified to run in the Amazon EC2 cloud.

Novell on Wednesday launched SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, with the capability for policy-driven system management and enhancements to its high-availability clustering.

SLES 11 also will soon be certified to run in the Amazon EC2 cloud, Novell officials said.

In addition, Novell is delivering with SLES 11 later this year a set of tools that enables an enterprise or ISV to build a virtual appliance with the parts of SUSE Linux that are needed to run the application. By using the Just Enough Operating System, or the JeOS (pronounced "juice"), tool suite, many parts of Linux can be stripped away, allowing the virtual appliance to run in a lighter-weight package with only the Linux modules that it needs, said Markus Rex, general manager of Novell's Open Platforms Solutions, in an interview.

When the tools become available, Novell will offer a supportability algorithm that tests the configuration of a virtual appliance to ensure that its configuration of SLES 11 remains supportable under Novell technical support contracts, he said.

As SLES 11 is certified for EC2 operation, Novell is working with IBM to give its customers the ability to package DB2 and Informix databases, WebSphere Portal, Lotus Web Content Management, and other IBM software with the operating system to be run in the cloud.

The SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension provides Linux cluster management and failover software for a Linux hardware cluster. Another extension allows output from Microsoft's Visual Studio tools and the .Net runtime environment to run on the Linux operating system. Support for the Mono tools is built into the Mono Extension, part of SLES 11, said Justin Steinman, VP of product marketing. Novell hosts the Mono open source development project under Miguel de Icaza, who announced Mono 2.0 last October.

Novell's Zenworks Linux system management is available in release 7.3 to work with SLES 11. Policies can be set for deployments, operations, and shutdown in Zenworks that can then be applied to both server and desktop versions of SLES 11.

Steinman said Novell has continued to work with Microsoft to ensure interoperability between SLES 11 and Windows in identity management and directory federation, document compatibility, and Microsoft's Silverlight Web user interface elements. Project Mono includes a Linux equivalent to Silverlight, called Moonlight, now supported in SLES 11.

SLES 11 also supports the NFS file system, which originated with Sun Microsystems workstations and is now open source code. Use of the file system allows a local server to swap data with remote storage systems and avoid application downtime due to running out of storage space, said Steinman.

Red Hat, Novell, and Oracle are scrapping for your Linux support dollars. But could you save big by going it alone? InformationWeek has published an independent analysis of this topic. Download the report here (registration required).

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