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This is the third blog (of four) in the series “SUSE YES Certification bulletin exposed” – designed to help SUSE Linux Enterprise customers and partners better understand what they can learn from a SUSE YES Certification bulletin. The goal is to lessen the stress of future hardware purchases.

SUSE YES Certification bulletin exposed – part 2

Last time, we covered the following information in the system bulletin: product description and part of the tested configuration including computer type, motherboard revision, BIOS/uEFI, CPU and RAM. You can read part 2 if you missed it at SUSE YES Certification bulletin exposed – part 2 (-part-4) (-part-1).

Ports and Bus Types

Now let’s resume where we left off. If you want to bring up a bulletin to follow along as you read, go here: https://www.suse.com/yessearch/. The next section of the bulletin is the Ports and Bus Types. This is the place where information about the number and type of expansion bus slots in the system are listed. Some common expansion buses include: PCI, PCI Express and Mini PCI Express. This is also where the number and type of some of the I/O ports are listed. Some common I/O ports include: USB, Serial and 1394 Firewire. The number of bus slots and ports should represent only those that are user accessible. For example, a USB port can be internal, mainly used for hardware debugging, it would not be include in the number.

Ports Listed (or Not)

Above I mentioned that “some” of the I/O ports are listed in the ports and bus type field. The reason is that some ports are listed in another location in the bulletin, and some ports types are deemed unnecessary and so are not listed in the bulletin. Some examples. The network ports are listed elsewhere on the bulletin – we will talk about these ports and adapters in the next blog. The graphics port is not listed in the bulletin at all, only the graphics adapter is listed. Sound ports (microphone, headphone or speaker) are not listed either. Even though graphics and sound ports are not listed, they are tested during certification along with the graphics and sound controllers.

Graphics Adapter

The next section is the Video Adapter or the graphics controller. This is simply the manufacturer and model of the tested graphics adapter or on-board graphics chip set.

Workstation Power Management

Now let’s consider an entry only in a workstation bulletin, specifically, the Power Management field. This will either be “Yes” or “No.” “Yes” means a workstation is compatible with all the operating system core power management functions. The core functionality includes hibernate (ACPI S4 or suspend to disk), sleep (ACPI S3 or suspend to RAM) and CPU Frequency scaling (CPU changes frequency based on load). If the workstation certification is for a laptop or notebook, additional core functionality includes brightness, lid close and battery.

HBA, HDD and Optical

The next three sections of a certification bulletin (both server and workstation) are Host Bus Adapter (HBA), Hard Disk Drive and CD/DVD. The HBA is the storage controller adapter or chip set used during testing as well as the interface tested on that HBA. There could be multiple HBAs listed. The hard disk drive field will contain the number, manufacturer and model of the hard drives or storage drives tested as well as the interface tested on these drives. It is possible that the HBA and disk drives will have different interfaces, for example, SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) and SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) devices can be interchangeable. The CD/DVD field lists the number, manufacturer and model of the optical drive tested, if one is included.

Certification Kit Version

The final section in the tested configuration is the Test Kit field. This is simply the version of system certification kit that was used to validate this hardware with this version of SUSE Linux Enterprise. We periodically update the test kit to make it better and increase the compatibility coverage. Yes, SUSE still requires certification “testing” to be completed and passed before issuing a bulletin.

yes_cert_SLE

You can find more information about SUSE YES Certification at https://www.suse.com/partners/ihv/yes/ or search for certified hardware at https://www.suse.com/yessearch/. Stay tuned for my next blog entry (SUSE YES Certification bulletin exposed – part 4) which should be the final in this series. Then in a future blog series I plan on describing what SUSE YES Certification validates that may not be fully apparent on the bulletin; it will be a look under the covers.

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