• United States
by Juan Carlos Perez

SuSE preps carrier-grade enterprise OS

Apr 29, 20033 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinuxTelecommunications Industry

SuSE Linux has readied a set of high-end features that do for its Linux enterprise operating system what spinach does for Popeye.

SuSE Linux has readied a set of high-end features that do for its Linux enterprise operating system what spinach does for Popeye.

The features beef up SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 to enable it to run applications that require very high levels of reliability, availability, performance and security, such as the applications that telecommunications carriers use to provide their services. This is why the set of features is called SuSE Linux Carrier-Grade Linux (CGL).

Though the main target for SuSE Linux CGL is telecommunications carriers, the company has also found great interest for this stronger version of its operating system in clients from other industries, such as financial institutions, said Holger Dyroff, SuSE’s Americas general manager.

“This demonstrates once again that SuSE is right out ahead of the innovation curve,” said Ted Schadler, a Forrester Research analyst.

The existence of a carrier-grade Linux operating system that runs on Intel-based hardware gives IT shops a lower-cost option to other server platforms, particularly those based on Unix and RISC hardware, Schadler said. “If you want to take down your cost structure on the server, you’ve got to run Linux on Intel,” he said.

SuSE Linux CGL was developed by SuSE in conjunction with hardware partners HP, IBM and Intel, and follows specifications from the Open Source Development Labs’ (OSDL’s) Carrier Grade Linux Working Group. The OSDL is a nonprofit, vendor-neutral, independent organization chartered with helping to boost Linux’s enterprise and carrier-class capabilities. Its members include SuSE, HP, IBM, Intel and various providers of telecommunications equipment and services.

Below are some of the features SuSE Linux CGL adds to SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8:

* Supports inserting and removing hardware components without having to reboot the server, a practice commonly known as hot-swapping.

* Supports diskless systems that load and run server-based systems and applications via networks.

* Allows monitoring of the availability and proper functionality of applications.

* Supports a variety of failover operations to avoid interruptions in system operations.

* Supports inserting debugging software into a running system.

* Supports the production, analysis and storage of kernel activity logs, which are used for debugging purposes.

* Supports and provides a variety of features to enhance the performance of applications.

SuSE Linux CGL is available now for servers running on hardware based on Intel’s 32-bit x86 platform, and will be available for other hardware platforms later, including Intel’s 64-bit Itanium, Advanced Micro Devices’ 64-bit Opteron, IBM’s iSeries, IBM pSeries and IBM mainframes, Dyroff said.

SuSE is making the CGL features available for free to its customers as part of a maintenance pack. The CGL features aren’t a software layer that sits on top of the operating system, but rather become part of the operating system’s kernel, Dyroff said.

SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 is based on the UnitedLinux operating system developed jointly by SuSE, Conectiva SA, The SCO Group and Turbolinux. Each vendor uses the same core operating system and then adds its own particular set of features to differentiate it.

MobileCom, a wireless carrier in Jordan, plans to use SuSE Linux CGL, according to a SuSE statement released Tuesday.