SuSE First With Linux Server OS for Opteron

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-04-21

SuSE First With Linux Server OS for Opteron

SuSE Linux A.G. has beaten enterprise competitor Red Hat Inc. to the draw and on Tuesday will announce the availability of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD 64, the first enterprise-ready Linux server operating system for the new to be launched at an event in New York Tuesday.

For its part, Red Hat will preview at the launch a complete solution stack featuring a future 64-bit version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Server for the Opteron processor. But the Red Hat Enterprise Linux products for Opteron will only be released with the launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, due this fall.

"We will deliver Red Hat Enterprise Linux for the Opteron to cover all uses from workstations to mission-critical data center configurations. Opteron-based hardware with Red Hat Enterprise Linux will be able to run the many available 32-bit enterprise applications as well as high-performance next-generation 64-bit applications," a company spokeswoman said.

SuSE last month announced the availability of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for Intel Itanium. This lagged the availability of Red Hats Advanced Server and Advanced Workstation for Itanium 2, which ship in partnership with Hewlett-Packard Co.

Also, as first reported by eWEEK, Sun Microsystems Inc. has said that it has no plans to support Linux or Solaris on Intel Corp. Itanium systems, but the company is evaluating AMDs Opteron processors.

But SuSE did not miss the opportunity to point out its advantage, with CEO Richard Seibt saying that "only SuSE has a 64-bit enterprise-ready server product available for AMD Opteron. SuSE Linux Enterprise Server for AMD 64 enables customers to combine the stability and security of Linux with the performance enhancements available only through the 64-bit architecture," he said.

Seibt said SuSEs engineers have been working closely with AMD since mid-2000 to develop an enterprise-class operating system and development tools for AMD 64, which provides high performance, flexibility and scalability for demanding enterprise applications in both 32- and 64-bit environments.

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SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD 64 has a recommended retail price of $448, which includes four CDs, documentation and a years access to the SuSE Linux maintenance program for one CPU.

Markus Rex, vice president of development at SuSE Linux, said its Enterprise Server 8 for AMD 64 is based on an optimized 2.4.19 kernel that enables high-availability solutions and the high-performance interaction with storage systems in the SAN by means of asynchronous I/O, multipathing memory access, and the management of up to 600 physical hard disks. Load balancing and the O(1) scheduler are responsible for the optimum balancing of the computing capacity in the network.

The complete 64-bit operating system includes Apache, Perl, MySQL, Samba and Sendmail, while the new software allows existing 32-bit x86 and new 64-bit AMD applications to be executed. It also includes all the necessary components for building C and C++ applications for both 32-bit x86 and 64-bit AMD 64 code, he said.

"It also provides improved scalability for up to 64 processors and up to 512GB of main memory. These characteristics make SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 an ideal computing cluster platform for 32- and 64-bit high-performance computing solutions and environments with advanced speed and scalability requirements," Rex said.

Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager of AMDs Microprocessor Business Unit, said in a statement that AMD 64 also preserves existing investments in 32-bit hardware and software and provides a simplified migration path to the power of 64-bit computing for SuSEs customers.

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SuSE also announced a number of agreements with distribution partners, including Appro, a developer of high-density, high-performance server clusters; M&A Technology Inc., which manufactures application-specific servers for various markets; Penguin Computing Inc., which produces Linux-based AMD systems for the enterprise and clustering markets; and PSSC Labs, the provider of Beowulf Class Supercomputers.

Oracle Corp. and IBM are among those ISVs that have already certified SuSEs AMD 64 offering. "SuSEs leadership as the first 64-bit Linux OS provider on the Opteron processor, combined with the availability of industry-leading Oracle9i Database on Opteron, shows the commitment that Oracle and SuSE have to lower our customers computing cost while providing high performance, scalability and enterprise functionality," said Dave Dargo, vice president, Linux Program Office, at Oracle Corp.

Lauren Flaherty, vice president of marketing for IBMs Management Solutions, said the combination of IBM DB2 Universal Database and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server on AMD Opteron systems enables customers to access DB2s 64-bit database environment and optimize 32-bit application performance.

"In addition to initial support of the AMD platform, DB2 database software will also support SuSE Linux and AMD Opteron in a clustered environment for a variety of industries including finance, retail, oil and gas, and life sciences for customers deploying two- to 1,000-node Linux clusters," she said.

For its part, Red Hat said it will release its Enterprise Linux 3 simultaneously for IA32, Opteron and IA64, as well as IBMs Z-, I- and P-series. Applications created for the platform will be able to be deployed on all these hardware architectures with minimal adjustments.

The ability to continue to run 32-bit applications in a 64-bit environment would be of great value to application developers and allow them to maximize the efficiency of their porting resources. Customers would also benefit from greatly increased flexibility during their migration to 64-bit computing, a Red Hat spokeswoman said.

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