Novell Announces Development Plans for SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

March 17, 2008

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 to focus on innovation in mission-critical data center technologies, UNIX migration capabilities, virtualization, interoperability, green computing and desktop Linux

SALT LAKE CITY (BrainShare® 2008)

Novell today announced its development plans for the next generation of its enterprise Linux* platform, SUSE® Linux Enterprise 11. The best-engineered and most interoperable platform for mission-critical computing, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 will be designed to form the heart of the modern IT organization, providing a foundation for mission-critical workloads across the enterprise by leveraging new technologies for server virtualization, consolidation and appliances, as well as innovative client computing breakthroughs. As a result, customers will be able to experience unique new levels of flexibility, efficiency and agility, regardless of whether they deploy SUSE Linux Enterprise directly on the hardware or as a virtual machine guest. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 will be a key component in Novell's efforts to harmoniously integrate mixed-IT environments, allowing people and technology to work as one.

“The tremendous adoption of SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 in the market has brought the benefits of enterprise Linux to thousands of organizations around the world,” said Roger Levy, senior vice president and general manager of Open Platform Solutions for Novell®. “We have listened closely to our customers, to our partners and to our colleagues in the open source community as we designed the next generation of Linux operating systems – SUSE Linux Enterprise 11. This release will redefine the standard for mission-critical, interoperable enterprise computing. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 will provide organizations with an agile, open, cost-effective infrastructure.”

As a complete desktop-to-data center platform, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 is planned to offer a variety of products designed for use across the enterprise, from edge and infrastructure servers, to highly available data center and real-time servers, to desktops in thick- and thin-client modes and technical workstations. In addition, Novell plans to make SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 available as an appliance, supported by a new toolset designed to quickly and painlessly build specialized images. A new embedded version of SUSE Linux Enterprise is also planned so independent hardware vendors (IHVs) can embed virtualization and operating systems directly in their hardware. Novell also plans to deliver optimized versions of SUSE Linux Enterprise for specific independent software vendor (ISV) stacks. Moreover, planned investments in new desktop virtualization technology will decouple end users' computing environments from the underlying hardware and allow them to work anywhere, anytime.

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Key Themes

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 will focus on market-leading innovation in the following areas:

  • Mission-critical data center technologies. Building on the success of SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 in the data center, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 plans to introduce new features to support appliance development and low-latency computing, along with support for high availability and advanced interconnects like Infiniband.
  • UNIX* migration. To eliminate the expensive lock-in that comes with traditional UNIX installations, customers are migrating to Linux on multiple hardware platforms. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 will focus on meeting or exceeding performance benchmarks of Solaris* and providing best-in-market toolsets and features from the kernel on up.
  • Virtualization. The traditional concept of the operating system is being redefined as virtualization delivers new levels of efficiency, flexibility and agility to the IT manager. Novell plans to leverage the latest in Xen* technologies in SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 to deliver virtualization in multiple formats, both directly as a component of the operating system and also as a stand-alone or embedded virtualization platform.
  • Interoperability. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 is expected to further cement Novell's leadership in interoperability with new solutions for Windows* optimization, including advances in support for Windows Server 2008 virtual guests, systems management and rich Internet application support.
  • Green IT. Customers are actively seeking to decrease energy consumption by reducing the number of servers through virtualization. The combination of virtualization and new power management capabilities for chips and disk drives should enable customers to reduce their server footprint and substantially lower the cost of running their data centers.
  • Desktop Linux innovation. As the leader in enterprise desktop Linux, Novell plans to deliver new features for usability, collaboration and security, enabling greater productivity and lower cost of ownership for business users.

Customer and Partner Support

Rick Becker, Dell Product Group vice president of solutions, said, “Dell believes in simplifying IT for customers, and Novell's plans for its next-generation operating system closely align with this vision. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 running on our award-winning, industry-standard PowerEdge servers eliminates the cost and complexity of proprietary UNIX-based systems and also helps make it easier for customers to achieve interoperability in heterogeneous IT environments.”

Jeff Smith, IBM vice president of Software for Open Source and Linux, said, “As a long-time Novell partner, IBM is pleased to support Novell's vision of the next-generation Linux platform. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 will run across the full range of IBM software and systems, providing our customers with flexible Linux-based solutions that drive their business. We look forward to working with Novell to deliver optimized solutions based on proven hardware and middleware that drives real results. These solutions take advantage of new capabilities that will make SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 an even stronger complement to our System z, p and x server lines as well as our WebSphere, Information Management, Tivoli, Rational and Lotus software lines.”

Ram Peddibhotla, Intel Corporation director of Open Source Technology Center, said, “Intel continues to set the pace for performance, power saving and virtualization technologies by implementing support in the Linux kernel and open source projects. Intel and Novell have been working closely to integrate and optimize many of our contributions into SUSE Linux Enterprise 11. We expect the combination of Intel platforms and SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 to provide a compelling solution to our enterprise customers for use in their energy-efficient data centers.”

Susan Hauser, Microsoft general manager, said, “Microsoft understands that in an increasingly interconnected computing landscape, enabling interoperability between products from different vendors has become more important than ever for economic, innovation and even 'green computing' related reasons. From a service standpoint, customers around the world in every line of business clearly demand interoperability between their different software platforms. It is one of the reasons we signed our ground-breaking partnership with Novell, and why we are excited about the impact this announcement will have on interoperability efforts throughout the ecosystem.”

Norbert Thier, Susquehanna International Group manager of Server Systems, said, “By moving to SUSE Linux Enterprise 10, we obtained a flexible application architecture. Improvements in power management, real-time system monitoring and interoperability will help us drive greater efficiency, responsiveness and flexibility in our business.”

Mission-Critical Data Center Technologies

Novell plans to deliver critical elements required for the modern, agile data center of the future. These include automated and assisted healing capabilities such as “single-node clusters,” automated hardware failure detection and swap over network to fully enable diskless blade systems. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 is expected to include significant updates to high-availability and storage components of the distribution, in particular new administrator interfaces for clustered storage management. The real time edition of SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 is expected to provide an unmatched foundation for low-latency computing, giving financial institutions and others the ability to run time-sensitive workloads on industry-standard hardware without resorting to over-provisioning. Novell will also focus on investments to deliver the latest OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED) stack, quality of service for fabrics, additional tuning parameters, and tracing, tuning and debugging tools in SUSE Linux Enterprise 11. As a result, customers should benefit from the industry's leading solution for guaranteed performance in time-critical environments.

UNIX Migration

Advances in the Linux kernel and the supporting toolset will establish SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 as the industry-standard platform for UNIX migrations. Novell will focus on an upgrade to the latest Linux kernel (currently planned to be 2.6.27), leading-edge storage management technologies such as the OpenAIS cluster communication infrastructure, a fully POSIX-conforming cluster file system (Oracle* Cluster File System 2) and distributed replicated block device (DRBD) support. Diagnostic and system management features such as improved kernel instrumentation, enhanced crash dumping and hardware monitoring, and support for embedded service processors are expected to distinguish SUSE Linux Enterprise as the most reliable and robust operating system for mission-critical computing.


Virtualization will be a key focus of this next release. Novell plans to include the latest version of the Xen hypervisor (currently scheduled to be version 3.3) in SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, featuring support for cross-platform virtualization and quality of service for dynamic resources. As a result, customers should be able to easily consolidate Linux, Windows and NetWare® servers, implement rapid provisioning, and improve high availability. Work is also underway to develop a stand-alone virtualization platform that can be embedded in new hardware or can be deployed on existing hardware. In addition, new virtual appliance building functionality, complemented by Novell ZENworks® and PlateSpin* automated management, should enable customers to quickly create virtual machines and manage their complete lifecycles across physical and virtual infrastructure more easily than they manage traditional servers today.

Interoperability Leadership

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 is expected to further cement Novell's leadership in interoperability through continued work with partners and on open industry standards. Novell plans to deliver innovative new solutions resulting from its highly successful collaboration with Microsoft, including advancements in cross-platform virtualization, systems management and rich Internet application support. Added instrumentation and support for standards such as WS-Management should allow customers to leverage their existing IT investments while establishing a flexible infrastructure that adjusts quickly to changing needs, all without locking customers into a single vendor. Novell plans to include the Mono® 2.0 development framework in SUSE Linux Enterprise 11. Mono 2.0 enables organizations to run .NET applications on Linux. Mono 2.0 includes .NET 3.5 support in addition to a .NET 2.0 profile, plus improved Mac* support and a Mono migration analysis tool that helps customers determine the readiness of their .NET applications for migration to Linux.

Green IT

Novell is investing and partnering to deliver the most powerful capabilities for achieving a “Green IT” infrastructure that is environmentally friendly and financially attractive. Leveraging the integrated virtualization technology should enable customers to reduce energy consumption and shrink their data centers. New power management features are expected to include Linux kernel support for tickless idle, support for processor c-states, new power-saving features for virtual machines, NUMA support, and enhanced support for hardware virtualization technologies (such as Intel* VMDq). The combination of these features should enable customers to reduce power consumption for both physical and virtual workloads.

Desktop Innovation

Novell plans to deliver a rich set of desktop capabilities in SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 that raise end-user productivity while increasing flexibility and cost effectiveness. Novell plans to enhance the collaboration and productivity offerings in SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop via stronger integration with Novell Teaming + Conferencing, based on the open source ICEcore project. Novell plans to combine Teaming + Conferencing with advances in Novell Edition to heighten the advantages of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop as a key element of an enterprise-class, cost-effective collaboration solution. New levels of usability should be achieved via enhancements to accessibility and the desktop user experience.


Details surrounding the product suite and availability of SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 will be released later this year.

The only Linux platform that has been endorsed by Microsoft, SAP and Capgemini, SUSE Linux Enterprise has seen tremendous market growth over the past six months. Invoicing for the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform grew by 200 percent in fiscal year 2007 in a market that grew only 22 percent annually. New customers included Wal-Mart, Office Depot, Siemens IT Solutions & Services, Casio and HSBC.

For more information on SUSE Linux Enterprise offerings from Novell, visit

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers infrastructure software for the Open Enterprise. Novell is a leader in desktop to data center operating systems based on Linux and the software required to secure and manage mixed IT environments. Novell helps customers around the world minimize cost, complexity and risk, allowing them to focus on innovation and growth. For more information, visit

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