Novell And Red Hat Upgrade Linux Enterprise Distros, Improve Virtualization Support

Novell and Red Hat announced upgrades of their Linux-based enterprise distros, featuring improved virtualization and hardware support. In addition, Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 10 SP2 adds a new subscription management tool, while Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.2 adds new security, clustering, desktop, and networking features.

Virtualization is the big story here. Red Hat has upgraded RHEL’s core virtualization hypervisor, Xen, to version 3.1.2, and has improved its support for NUMA (Non-Uniform Memory Access) architectures.

RHEL now supports virtualization of very large systems, says Red Hat, including systems with up to 64 CPUs and 512GB of memory. New CPU frequency scaling support is said to reduce power consumption for virtualized processes. RHEL also gains new clustering capabilities, including improved application failover support, which when combined with the virtualization enhancements, should lead to greater server farm stability.

Virtualization also seems to lead the way with Novell SLES 10 Service Pack 2 enhancements, which support Xen 3.2 (compared to RHEL 5.2′s Xen 3.1.2 support). Novell claims that with Xen 3.2, the new SLES is “the only Xen-based virtualization solution with full support from Microsoft for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 guests, and live migration of those guests across physical machines.” Novell and Microsoft went in on an interoperability lab last fall.

Meanwhile, the company has been dropping hints about SLES 11, which is due in the first half of 2009. Novell hopes to make SLES 11 available as an appliance that will be supported by a new toolset designed to quickly build specialized images. Novell is planning versions optimized for specific ISV stacks, as well as a new embedded version to allow independent hardware vendors to embed virtualization and operating systems directly into the hardware. Other touted SLES 11 enhancements relate to “mission-critical data center technologies, Unix migration, virtualization, interoperability, green computing, and desktop Linux,” says Novell.

Both distros are available from today, according to both companies.

[Source: Linux Watch]

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