SUSECon 2016 has come and gone with many announcements; including the release of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP2 during the opening keynote on Tuesday November 8, 2016. Simultaneously your public cloud Elves released SLES 12 SP2 from the conference venue in Amazon Web Services EC2, Google Compute Engine, and Microsoft Azure.
One major improvement for our public cloud users is the super easy upgrade/migration between service packs that now works with on demand images. While in the past the instructions for upgrading running instances have been long and tedious and had you fiddle with repository files, this has all been reduced to the following 3 commands.
zypper in zypper-migration-plugin
The zypper migration command will show the available migration options. If you are running a SLES 12 SP1 instance there is only one, a migration to SLES 12 SP2. Once you enter the migration you want to perform, 1 in the case of an SP1 -> SP2 migration, you can watch zypper do it’s magic.
Thus, service pack migration is now a pretty boring affair, fantastic. You do have to be running a SLE 12 instance, i.e.
cat /etc/os-release | grep VERSION | grep 12
has to return something, in order for this easy migration process to work.
Well, that is the excitement of upgrading your running instances. For all the other goodies that come along with SLES 12 SP2 please consult the release notes.
For users in AWS the arrival of SLES 12 SP2 also means support for ENA, the Elastic Network Adapter. The caveat is that you will not get ENA support for running instances that have been upgraded to SLES 12 SP2. The ENA interface is available for certain instance types, and gets attached to instances at start up if the image used to start an instance indicates that it has ENA support. Therefore, if you have workloads where the enhanced network performance is important you might want to consider to start from scratch with a new SLES 12 SP2 instance rather than upgrading your running instance. The ENA interface doubles the network performance compared to the previously highest performance network option available in EC2. If you are considering to start from scratch with an ENA capable instance you may consider Machinery to help you with system analysis and a comparison after you have the SLES 12 SP2 replacement instance running. The support for ENA is also integrated in the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server For SAP Applications 12 SP2 images available as on demand in Marketplace or as BYOS in the general catalog.
Last but not least, while the SLES SP2 images are easy to find in the respective cloud framework web consoles there is always the need to identify images for command line use, thus don’t forget pint to help you identify the latest images in your cloud provider of choice.