SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for ARM brings the proven capabilities of SUSE Linux to the ARM AArch64 hardware platform. SLES for ARM is designed to speed implementation of server solutions based on the 64-bit ARM AArch64 architecture.
ARM Ltd., a subsidiary of SoftBank Corporation, has been tremendously successful at providing the computing infrastructure that underlies modern society. More than 50 billion ARM processors support workloads from cell phones to embedded applications and now servers. ARM licenses its technology to more than 1000 companies that deliver a wide range of processors tailored for individual workloads.
ARM processor designs allow solution developers to construct System-on-a-Chip (SOC) that can be tailored for specific workloads. The introduction of ARMv8-A architecture added 64-bit processing capabilities to the ARM processor family in 2011 and the first 64-bit ARM processors were delivered in 2012.
The flexibility of 64-bit ARM architecture allows licensees to deliver server solutions with hardware enablement to accelerate specific workloads. Focus workloads for the initial ARM 64-bit servers include high performance computing, storage, and networking.
SUSE has been formally partnering with ARM Ltd. and several SOC and system vendors to bring the capabilities of its well established, open source Linux operating system to this new server platform. SUSE has a long history of providing support for ARM processors as part of the OpenSUSE community. In 2015, SUSE formally expanded their partner program to companies developing 64-bit ARM servers. https://www.suse.com/partners/arm/
SLES for ARM is part of the SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 common code base. This means that the versions, and thereby the source code, of all core packages of the SUSE Linux Enterprise product family are the same—from the desktop to the mainframe. The tool chain, like compilers and libraries are the same across the supported hardware architectures. The common code base guarantees product consistency and a persistent look and feel, which lets you leverage the skills of your IT staff. It also provides for the highest code quality, better supportability and preemptive code maintenance.
SLES for ARM will become available later this year and initially will support SOCs from AMD, Applied Micro, Cavium, NXP, and Xilinx. A number of solution vendors will exploit SLES for ARM to deliver servers to support a wide range of workloads. SLES for ARM will initially be available for partner exploitation. SUSE will continue to expand the list of supported SOC and solution vendors as the ARM 64-bit server community expands.
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for ARM provides the operating system foundation for future 64-bit ARM servers and is only the first step by SUSE to enable server solutions based on ARM processors.