This is the fourth and final blog 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 server and workstation hardware purchases.
Last time, we covered the following information in the system bulletin: ports and bus types, video adapter, power management on workstations, host bus adapter, hard disk drive, CD/DVD and test kit (version). You can read part 3 if you missed it at https://www.suse.com/communities/conversations/suse-yes-certification-bulletin-exposed-part-3/.
Now let’s pick up 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 Config Notes. This section could be blank or could contain one or more highlights about the certified configuration, required workarounds, functionality that did or did not work or even required additions; such as updated drivers. The Config Notes in the bulletin will contain key data you will want to be aware of when implementing SUSE Linux Enterprise on that specific hardware platform. These notes can range from installation and boot to core dump (kdump) analysis and maintenance updates.
Some bulletins will next display a Referenced Bulletin number. This is simply a previously tested and certified system that “this” bulletin is based on. Some examples of this would be a change in system name – same system sold under multiple names or a different OEM manufacturer. It could also be an identical system with the same model processor at a different frequency (speed).
The next section lists the specifics about the adapters and drivers that were part of the overall certified system. (The adapter/driver pair is not certified individually as a component but only as a part of the complete certified server or workstation.) Included in this section are network, storage and graphics adapters and drivers. This is a duplication in the bulletin for the storage and graphic adapters; they are also listed in the tested configuration section, but this is the only location where the specific drivers for those adapters are listed. The network adapters are listed only in this section of the bulletin. Here you will find the system adapter names as well as the number or how many of that adapter were used in the system during testing and some very specific data about the component drivers that interact with the hardware and operating system.
The information included with each adapter in this section is the driver type (LAN, HBA or video), the driver kernel file name, the date the driver was compiled, the driver file size, the md5 checksum of the driver and, if available, the driver version. This helps the SUSE user, support person or IT professional to determine if they are using the exact same configuration that was validated during certification. It provides a point-in-time hardware configuration as well as the driver versions used to confirm functionality.
The final two pieces of information on the YES Certification bulletin are a URL to a .pdf document that contains system certification policies (https://www.suse.com/partners/ihv/pdf/System_Certification_Policies.pdf) and, second, the system manufacturer’s mailing address with an optional phone number. On some bulletins the manufacturer has chosen to list a support website instead of an address and phone number.
That concludes this blog series detailing the content on a YES Certification bulletin. Hopefully you now have a better understanding of how powerful the bulletin can be as a tool to help you buy SUSE compatible hardware. You can find more information about SUSE YES Certification at https://www.suse.com/partners/ihv/yes/. Stay tuned for a future blog series describing SUSE YES Certification under the covers: what is tested but not specifically listed on the bulletin.