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April 22, 2003

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SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 Released

Mike Angelo -- 22 April 2003 (C)

SuSE Linux is releasing its latest offering, the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 operating system (OS) distribution today. It ships with the Linux 2.4.19 kernel. SuSE, along with Mandrake Linux and Red Hat Linux, is one of the three leading Linux OS distribution families.

According to SuSE, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 features SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) scalability of up to 64 concurrently running processors and up to 512-GB of hard RAM. It will run on 32-bit as well as 64-bit systems. Suggested retail price is $448.

The first SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 (SLES-8) distribution was released in November 2002. In addition to the about to be released SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 flavor, the other SLES-8 renditions are:

  • Enterprise Server 8 for x86
  • Enterprise Server 8 for IBM Mainframe
  • Enterprise Server 8 for IBM i/pSeries
  • Enterprise Server 8 for Intel Itanium Processor Family

As of 21 April 2003 at 21:31:22 BST the only SLES-8 renditions listed by the Free Standards Group (FSG) as LSB Certified are SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 powered by UnitedLinux (IA32) and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for IPF powered by UnitedLinux (IA64). SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 is not listed by the FSG as LSB Certified as of 21 April 2003 at 21:31:22 BST.

SuSE Linux 8.2 was certified as LSB (Linux Standard Base) compliant on 24 March 2003.

We have not tested SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64. However, below are excerpts of a SuSE Press Release announcing the availability of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64.

There is much fluff in the press release. What's excerpted to here is pretty much the nuts and bolts of what SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 is -- only about one-third of the full press release.

Perhaps the paragraph of the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 press release that bothered us the most is this one:

Based on the joint industry standard UnitedLinux 1.0, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 combines maximum performance and reliability with an unprecedented scalability. As the only server platform worldwide with a uniform code base for all relevant hardware platforms, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 is ideal for consolidating heterogeneous server structures, thereby lowering administrative, training and support costs and significantly reducing total cost of ownership. (Emphases added.)

UnitedLinux Is Not a Standard

In Part II . . . Gaël Duval and Mark de Visser . . . tell us, convincingly, why UnitedLinux is not a Linux standard, but rather just another Linux Distribution. . .

Mark de Visser: UnitedLinux is just another Linux distribution, like Slackware, Mandrake and Debian. It is not an initiative that can be joined, a standard that can be adhered to, or anything else. It is just another distribution. - That is not a negative verdict by the way, it is just what it is. . . .

United Linux is a group effort by four Linux vendors . . . to develop a common Linux distribution that will bear the label "United Linux". -- Mandrake

From Part II: UnitedLinux: A Standard or a Distribution?

As far as we know, UnitedLinux is not an industry standard. It is a cooperatively developed and marketed Linux distribution of the UnitedLinux consortium, which consists of Conectiva, SCO-Caldera, SuSE, and TurboLinux. On the other hand, LSB (Linux Standard Base) is an industry (open) standard.Unfortunately, some of the people involved with UnitedLinux apparently still are trying to pass UnitedLinux off as a standard, which it is not. This mis-characterization of UnitedLinux as a standard rather than a distribution created quite a stir in the Linux community last summer.

We discussed this UnitedLinux as a standard vs. distribution issue at length last summer in our articles:

According to the SuSE Web site, SuSE Enterprise Server 8 is distributed for only five hardware-platform families, Intel x86, IBM Mainframe, IBM i/pSeries, Intel Itanium, and now the AMD Opteron. That certainly is far from all hardware platforms. The wiggle room for SuSE here is its statement all relevant hardware platforms.

SuSE apparently is defining all hardware platforms other than Intel x86, IBM Mainframe, IBM i/pSeries, Intel Itanium, and the AMD Opteron as not relevant. We are not so sure that we would agree with that.

Anyway, here are the excerpts of a SuSE Press Release announcing the availability of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64. Link to the full press release in the Resources section at the end of the article.

SuSE Press Release Excerpts


SuSE Linux First to Market with Enterprise-Ready Operating System for the AMD Opteron Processor

SuSE unveils SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64, names distribution partners

New York/Nuremberg, Germany - April 22, 2003 - SuSE Linux today announced the availability of the first enterprise-ready Linux server operating system for the AMD Opteron processor. Released today, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64, Powered by UnitedLinux gives customers a stable, secure platform on which to build their next generation applications.

"Only SuSE has a 64-bit enterprise-ready server product available for AMD Opteron," said Richard Seibt, CEO of SuSE Linux. "SuSE Linux Enterprise Server for AMD64 enables customers to combine the stability and security of Linux with the performance enhancements available only through the 64-bit architecture."

[snip]

"AMD has worked closely with SuSE Linux to develop an enterprise-class operating system and development tools for AMD64," said Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager of AMD's Microprocessor Business Unit. "SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64, the first 64-bit server operating system for AMD Opteron processors, provides high performance, flexibility and scalability for demanding enterprise applications in both 32- and 64-bit environments. AMD64 also preserves existing investments in 32-bit hardware and software and provides a simplified migration path to the power of 64-bit computing for SuSE's customers . "

[snip]

SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 comes with an optimized kernel 2.4.19 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.

SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 provides improved scalability for up to 64 processors and up to 512 GB 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.

Apart from a providing complete 64-bit operating system including Apache, perl, MySQL, Samba and Sendmail, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 allows the execution of both existing 32-bit x86 and new 64-bit AMD applications and offers all necessary components for building C and C++ applications, both for 32-bit x86 and 64-bit AMD64 code.

[snip]

Availability and Pricing

The recommended retail price of $448.00 for SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 includes four CDs, documentation, and the SuSE Linux Maintenance Program for one CPU for 12 months. The product can be obtained today directly from SuSE and from SuSE Linux Partners. For more information, please refer to www.suse.com/sles/amd64.html.

[snip]


Resources

SuSE Web Site


SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64

SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8

SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 Hardware Platforms


SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 Press Release



Interesting Linux/Unix Books

Running Linux, 4th Edition, By Matt Welsh, Matthias Kalle Dalheimer, Terry Dawson, Lar Kaufman, December 2002, ISBN: 0-596-00272-6, $44.95

Unix Power Tools, 3rd Edition, By Shelley Powers, Jerry Peek, Tim O'Reilly, Mike Loukides, October 2002, ISBN: 0-596-00330-7, 69.95


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