Innovation Without Disruption: Introducing SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP4 and Resilience | SUSE Communities

Innovation Without Disruption: Introducing SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP4 and Resilience

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[This blog post is contributed by Michal Svec, Product Manager at SUSE, and Jose Betancourt at SUSE.]

The SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP4 family of products brings along many improvements, feature enhancements, hardware enablement, performance improvements, security additions and bug fixes. 

 

Many improvements come from SUSE collaboration with hardware vendors, ranging from chipset manufacturers to OEMs. SLE 15 SP4 brings support for all the latest chipset releases and features, for instance Intel’s 12th Gen processors or AMD EPYC Gen 4 CPUs (including SEV ES support), and also many Arm architectural features are supported.  SUSE is also working on the full support for the recently announced NVIDIA Open GPU kernel drivers and vGPU support.  We would not be able to do that without close collaboration with our hardware partners like Dell Technologies, Fujitsu, HPE/Cray and IBM – making sure that their systems work well with SUSE Linux Enterprise products.

A lot of that enablement applies to the cloud environments.  Just to outline a few of the biggest ones, Amazon AWS Graviton 3 platforms are fully supported now, and there is also support for the Nitro Enclaves.  Microsoft Azure Arm64 server instances are now supported, with many of the improvements have been made in the SAP area.  We also now offer pre-hardened images, available both as BYOS (Bring Your Own Server) and PAYG (Pay as you Go) for supported cloud environments.  Overall, with SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP4 we deliver on the promise to keep the product family fully enabled on the recent hardware platforms to take advantage of all the improvements and new features.  We make sure the operating system and its components are future-proof so that the workloads can run in a seamless and effective way.

While we collaborate with our silicon design partners across a variety of products, technologies, and solutions, we have an open approach that our customers can then use when building their own technology stacks.

 

  • Intel:  Intel and SUSE have been working together since SUSE’s inception in 1992 when SUSE was the first company to market Linux for the enterprise. As Intel’s and SUSE’s product and technology portfolios have grown throughout the years, so have the breadth and depth of the relationship. Like the roots of a tree, Intel’s breadth of portfolio is often unseen. Yet its enablement and usage via the SUSE product portfolio is fundamental to the development of larger products and solutions built by our joint partners and available through the many routes to market (IHVs, ISVs, CSPs, and Embedded Solutions). Intel is one of the leading contributors to the Linux kernel as well as a significant contributor in the Kubernetes space.
  • AMD: AMD and SUSE have been collaborating in the upstream Linux community and around AMD-specific optimizations for more than 20 years.  AMD gave the world the first CPU to introduce the x86_64 ISA, and SUSE was an early provider of an enterprise Linux distribution for the then new architecture.Our most recent collaboration efforts are around two key areas: GCC Compiler and Toolchain optimizations for AMD and Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV and SEV-ES). AMD’s Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) is a technology that protects KVM-based Linux virtual machines by transparently encrypting the memory of each VM with a unique key.  SEV is especially relevant to cloud computing environments, where VMs are hosted on remote servers which are not under the control of the VM owners.SUSE has been playing an important role with AMD since 2016 to bring Confidential Computing ‘upstream’ with collaborations in the areas of the Linux kernel, libvirt and KubeVirt to name a few.  SUSE customers will be the first ones to benefit from AMD SEV-ES host and guest modes, enabling customers to select additional security-strengthening VM isolation.
  • NVIDIA:  NVIDIA is along-standing SUSE partner around accelerated computing.  As NVIDIA expanded its business into data center-scale networking, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and edge computing, and SUSE expanded its reach into the cloud-native space so the breadth and depth of our collaboration has also grown.NVIDIA is optimizing accelerated compute across GPUs, CPUs, DPUs, complete systems and specialized software,  and SUSE aims to enable its availability and usage to our joint customers through our operating system offering (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Arm, SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Base Container Images) as well as our cloud-native product stack (SUSE Rancher, and RKE2/K3s Kubernetes engines).When it comes to NVIDIA, everyone agrees that their biggest open announcement this year is the release of NVIDIA Open-Source GPU Kernel modules. The availability of these modules is a big deal for SUSE and its customers. The ability for Linux distribution providers like SUSE to add the driver directly to its kernel is significant because this could not be accomplished before due to license incompatibility. It also enables SUSE to perform security reviews of the drivers and sign the drivers.  Last, but certainly not least: it allows for SUSE engineers to debug, integrate, and contribute back.
  • Arm:  Arm is a leading semiconductor intellectual property (IP) supplier.  It develops technology it licenses to other companies who design and manufacture their own products that implement the Arm architecture.  This includes system on a chip (SoC) as well as system on module (SOM) designs.  It also designs IP cores that implement the Arm instruction set architecture and licenses these designs to many companies that incorporate the designs into their own products.Because of its approach to the market, the collaboration is better defined as SUSE and the Arm ecosystem. SUSE’s Business-Critical Linux unit provides SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Arm, SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro, as well as SUSE Linux Enterprise Base Container Images for Arm’s 64-bit Armv8-A architecture, enabling Arm ecosystem and partners to build products and solutions with a world-class, enterprise supported Linux distribution.  SUSE Linux Enterprise can be deployed today on Silicon from Broadcom (Raspberry Pi), Ampere Computing (Gigabyte Mount Snow), as well as cloud-based instances from AWS (Graviton) with Azure Virtual Machines availability coming soon.The partnership between Arm and SUSE is about providing partners and customers with open source-based infrastructure products and solutions for the Arm architecture.

The ongoing collaboration between SUSE and the Silicon Designers enables joint downstream partners to build enterprise-class solutions, leveraging Silicon-based features and capabilities, through an open-source OS and Cloud-native set of tools.    These foundational building blocks are available through partners (IHVs, ISVs, and CSPs to name a few) who in turn are delivering the solutions our joint customers need to run their business.

 

 

To learn more, go to Business Critical Linux and/or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Thanks for reading!

Jeff Reser

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