Novell Launches SUSE Linux for SAP

Linux vendor Novell is releasing an optimized version of its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server tailored to run applications from enterprise applications vendor SAP.

Novell has released a new version of its popular SUSE Linux distribution optimized to run SAP applications, deepening its already close relationship with the enterprise software vendor.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP applications "simplifies both physical and virtual deployments of SAP solutions, including the SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Search application, SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator ... software, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer software and SAP's emerging in-memory platform," Novell said Sept. 21.

With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP, customers now have "an integrated, one-stop resource" for deploying SAP applications on a Linux platform, George Mathew, group vice president and general manager of SAP's Business Intelligence and In-Memory Analytics division, said in a statement.

With the new distribution, users can reduce the complexity of application deployments, cut installation costs, and slash the time required to get a production system up and running, Novell said. An intelligent installation wizard "automatically installs SAP applications on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server."

An optimized version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Service Pack 3, it uses the same Linux 2.6.16 kernel currently in SLES 10. Novell chose not to use SLES 11, its most current version released over a year ago.

Novell's move follows Oracle's Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel announcement at Oracle OpenWorld earlier the week of Sept. 20. Built within a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 clone, the kernel is optimized for Oracle applications.

This cooperative agreement is just the latest in a history of close ties between SAP and Novell. The companies currently offer joint support for customers running SAP applications on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. SAP and Novell also announced an agreement to work on enabling customers to manage mission-critical operations in Linux earlier in 2010. The collaboration "has resulted in solutions that improve the reliability and ease of management of SAP applications on Linux," said Joe Wagner, senior vice president and general manager of Global Alliances for Novell.

The priority support offering will now be expanded. Customers on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP applications will receive "long-term service pack support that extends the window to upgrade between service pack releases from six to 18 months." SAP and Novell will also maintain a dedicated update channel with the latest "fixes, patches and product enhancements."

SAP's direct sales and channel partners have already been recommending Linux Enterprise Server when selling SAP applications, and will now include the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP solutions in its sales portfolio, the company said.

"SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has long been recommended by SAP as a preferred platform for customers who are looking to lower the costs and complexity of application deployments," said Mathew.

The distribution will also be available through Novell's sales force and channel partners.

According to the release, SAP also co-developed offerings to use with SAP Business Suite applications and SAP Business All-in-One for small and midsize businesses.