What you need to know about SUSE Manager 3.2 For Retail | SUSE Communities

What you need to know about SUSE Manager 3.2 For Retail

A Q&A with Abhinav Puri, PM for SUSE Manager for Retail and Jason Phippen, PMM for Infrastructure Management

What is SUSE Manager for Retail?

SUSE Manager for Retail is SUSE’s open source infrastructure management solution. It has been optimized and tailored specifically for the retail industry. It is designed to help retailers reduce complexity with better control of IT assets, increase efficiency by optimizing and automating operations, and reduce costs of managing retail environments. It provides a reliable, flexible and open platform for managing point of service (POS) and point of sale terminals, kiosks, self-service systems and reverse-vending systems.

What is new in SUSE Manager for Retail 3.2?

SUSE Manager for Retail 3.2 adds on top of existing functionality in SUSE Manager 3.2. The SUSE Manager for Retail 3.2 release features additional enhancements focused on lowering costs and optimizing operations including:

  • Simple and flexible image building helping you to more quickly build customized images for your POS terminals, saving you time and money. Use the SUSE Manager UI to setup an image build host and build customized images or leverage pre-build image templates to setup your POS systems.
  • Optimize operations by leveraging the forms-based framework of SUSE Manager to quickly and efficiently setup your store environment. Our forms-based approach helps you setup a store server and configure key services –such as DHCP server, DNS server, PXE boot server, TFTP server and FTP server, with the branch server providing the network boot and systems management infrastructure.

What are the advantages of deploying SUSE Manager for Retail?

With SUSE Manager for Retail, you can:

  • Centrally create, deploy and maintain images for Point of Service devices
  • Deploy software updates to the Point of Service environment. Take advantage of Salt-based configuration management
  • Automate monitoring, tracking, and reporting of systems. Utilize stronger security to prevent data loss
  • Maintain compliance in your Point of Service environment. Search for compliance status of systems regarding specific CVE reports

How does SLEPOS fit into the picture with SUSE Manager for Retail?

Legacy SLEPOS had a 3-tiered layered architecture comprising of an Admin server, multiple Branch servers and Point of Service Clients. We have moved away from an image management paradigm in legacy SLEPOS to a managed end-point paradigm with SUSE Manager for Retail.

This implies that the SLEPOS Admin and Branch server components have been discontinued, and with SUSE Manager for Retail 3.2 onwards, SLEPOS will only refer to Point of Service Clients which can be build and managed via SUSE Manager for Retail.

What happens to existing SLEPOS customers?

All existing SLEPOS customers will be supported as per the support policies highlighted here: https://www.suse.com/lifecycle/

Can existing SLEPOS customers migrate to SUSE Manager for Retail 3.2?

SUSE Manager for Retail 3.2 is initially targeted at new installations.

SUSE Manager for Retail 3.2 will not be enabled for migration at release. The plan is to add migration support by the end of the year, for existing SLEPOS customers to move to SUSE Manager for Retail 3.2.

Can I migrate from SUSE Manager for Retail 3.1 to 3.2 at release?

SUSE Manager for Retail 3.2 is initially targeted at new installations.

SUSE Manager for Retail 3.2 will not be enabled for migration at release. The plan is to add migration support at a later point, for existing customers to move to SUSE Manager for Retail 3.2.

What are the components of SUSE Manager for Retail?

SUSE Manager for Retail is made up of 2 main components:

SUSE Manager Server: SUSE Manager server provides the web-based user interface and connection to SUSE Customer Center. The SUSE Manager Server provides the ability to setup a KIWI build host for creation of operating system images for the point of service infrastructure. The Server captures and maintains data for the managed devices and provides comprehensive lifecycle management functionality via the user interface and a rich API for automation. You deploy SUSE Manager server behind your company firewall. SUSE Manager Server subscriptions are available:

– For environments with up to 50 managed instances

– For environments with more than 50 managed instances

SUSE Manager for Retail Branch Server: The branch server is installed in the store environment. It is the technical equivalent of the SUSE Manager proxy server, with enhanced functionality for the retail environment. It lowers bandwidth needs and provides faster local updates for deployments across dispersed geographical locations. The branch server provides the network boot and system management infrastructure for the point of service terminals. It can also serve as a generic system platform for in-store applications such as database systems and back ends for point of service applications. In your environments, the branch server:

Runs DNS services for the local network, may run DHCP to control the network boot process. Conversely, instead of setting up the DHCP service on the branch server, an external DHCP server can be used. It also provides a boot infrastructure for point of service terminals and transfers system images from the SUSE Manager server to the terminals.

What is SUSE’s solution for the retail industry?

SUSE is focused on delivering a comprehensive solution for the management of the point of service environment.  With that goal, SUSE is offering a combination of:

These products come together to enable customers to manage the IT infrastructure supporting their point of service environments, from the data center to the end point devices.

What does the reference architecture look like for SUSE’s retail solution?

What are the subscriptions that I need to run this setup?

The following subscription offerings will be required to deploy SUSE’s retail solution:

  • SUSE Manager Server
  • SUSE Manager for Retail Branch Server
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service Clients

Do I need to purchase SUSE Manager Lifecycle Management subscriptions separately for my managed devices?

For environments where SUSE Manager for Retail is deployed to manage the point of service infrastructure, Lifecycle Management for either the branch servers or the end point client devices need not be purchased separately.

Where do I get more information?

For more information about SUSE Manager for Retail, please  visit: suse.com/products/suse-manager-retail/

For more information on how to install and configure SUSE Manager for Retail, please visit: suse.com/ documentation/suse-manager-for-retail-3-2/

For information about the support life-cycle of SUSE Manager for Retail 3.2 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service Clients, please visit: https://www.suse.com/lifecycle/

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