Novell Releases 2.6-Based Enterprise Server

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2004-08-03

Novell Releases 2.6-Based Enterprise Server

SAN FRANCISCO—Novell on Tuesday released the latest version of its enterprise Linux server, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, at LinuxWorld here.

SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 9 is the first enterprise Linux server to be built on the Linux 2.6 kernel. As such, Novell Inc. and its partners claim that it has significant performance and scalability enhancements over Linux servers built around the Linux 2.4 kernel.

SLES also will include JBoss Inc.s open-source J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) JBoss Application Server. This comes on the heels of Red Hat Inc.s announcement earlier Tuesday that it is offering its own J2EE server, RHAS (Red Hat Application Server), separately from its enterprise Linux operating system.

The JBoss server also will be included in Novells exteNd, formerly SilverStream eXtend, a visual integrated services environment for enterprise information systems. The widely deployed JBoss Application Server was the first open-source application server to achieve J2EE 1.4 compliance.

"JBoss has 50 percent of the J2EE market, so this move made perfect sense for Novell," said Chris Stone, Novells vice chairman.

Click here to read more about the JBoss Application Server.

Stone added that Novell will offer full levels 1, 2 and 3 support for JBoss. "Its part of SLES. We will, of course, charge for support, but when you buy SLES, you also buy JBoss, and you dont need to buy support."

"[Hewlett-Packard Co.] applauds the inclusion of an established, J2EE-compliant application server with SuSE Linux Enterprise Server. This supports HPs ongoing efforts to bring Linux, J2EE and open source in general to the enterprise market," said Martin Fink, vice president of Linux at HP.

The new SuSE Linux also offers vastly improved management capabilities. Besides supporting Novells own management program, ZENworks Linux Management, Novell has increased the capabilities of YaST, its comprehensive installation, configuration and administration tool.

Next Page: Novell CEO pitches "compelling reasons to deploy Linux at the core."

Linux at the Core

In addition, YaST now supports the CIM (common information model), a standard interface used by enterprise systems management solutions. According to Novell, this will make it easier for managers to support large-scale IT environments and to interact with third-party systems management tools. The new AutoYaST feature also will enable IT administrators to automatically deploy Linux servers.

Click here for more on YaST.

Technically speaking, SLES includes advanced memory management, advanced processor support and advanced I/O capabilities, offering the industrys best performance, officials said. SLES also boasts a class-based kernel resource management (CKRM), co-developed with IBM, which allows the Linux server to dynamic allocate resources.

In addition, hyper-threading support and NUMA (non-uniform memory management) support have been improved to provide more effective scalability across large-scale implementations.

Putting all of this together, Jack Messman, chairman and CEO of Novell, declared that the company is giving customers "compelling reasons to deploy Linux at the core of their business."

"SLES 9, backed by Novells global ecosystem of enterprise-level consulting, training and support, is the most fully supported enterprise Linux," Messman said. "Novell is actively partnering with hundreds of software and hardware companies to ensure that their latest offerings support SLES 9, providing business customers a trusted, reliable Linux foundation.

"Novells Linux Indemnification Program, which gives customers protection from third-party copyright litigation, offers additional confidence to customers."

Jim Stallings, general manager of Strategic Growth Initiatives at IBM, said the company is supporting Novells release. "IBM is working closely with Novell to introduce SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 in the marketplace, and supporting it across our eServer line and across our key software portfolio," he said.

To read more about Strategic Growth Initiatives, a new business group at IBM that will target emerging markets, click here.

"SLES 9 is available on all of IBMs hardware platforms now," Stallings said. "There will be no staggered rollout as there has been in the past with IBMs adoption of Linux."

SLES 9 is now available on numerous hardware architectures, including x86, AMD64TM and Intel EM64T, Intels Itanium processor family, IBM Power, IBM zSeries and IBM S390. A yearly maintenance service subscription for x86 architectures starts at $349 per server with two CPUs.

Current users of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server with active upgrade protection/maintenance will be able to download Version 9 at no charge.

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