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SUSE Linux on POWER offers enhanced RAS capabilities not commonly found in other server environments.

UNIX is known for its reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS). Advanced Linux systems, such as SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, have closed that gap to deliver RAS on par with UNIX, and outpaced traditional UNIX systems in many other aspects.

With IBM POWER processor-based systems you get RAS characteristics not commonly found in server families running the Linux operating system, and capabilities designed for the demands of mission-critical workloads. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 for POWER on IBM POWER8 exploits key RAS features of the POWER platform, supporting RAS capabilities such as hardware redundancy and resource affinity.

Supported POWER technologies for Linux and their associated benefits include:

  • Configure shared resource pools—Increase reliability of mission-critical applications with the ability to control resource allocation of CPU, memory and I/O.
  • Memory error recovery and memory sharing—Reduce downtime with support for memory error recovery. Memory sharing across workloads reduces costs by maximizing utilization of hardware resources.
  • Live VM migration—Maximize application availability by moving workloads to better balance system resources and uptime through live VM migration with PowerKVM.
  • Exploit hardware RAS—Enhance your system reliability and reduce service costs by exploiting the RAS feature of your hardware platform in ways only SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 can. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 works with IBM POWER8, which offers RAS features like inventory collection (VPD), platform error reporting and handling, and responding to Emergency Power Off Warning (EPOW) events. The basic POWER platform-related tools and packages like ppc64-diag, servicelog and lsvpd are included in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 to provide faster resolution.
  • Security standards compliance—Security impacts uptime. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server includes security features and functions to help to ward off malicious attacks and the shutdowns they cause. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 is prepared for an upcoming Common Criteria Certification, and multiple security modules have been submitted to the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) for a FIPS 140-2 validation. Among those modules are OpenSSL, OpenSSH client and server, Strongswan (IPSec-based VPNs) and the Kernel Crypto API. See the NIST list of modules in review.
  • Full system rollback—The Full System Rollback feature gives you better resiliency by allowing you to take snapshots of the system, including the kernel files, and roll back. Because the bootloader is now integrated into the rollback process, system administrators can boot from a snapshot, enhancing fault recovery and change tracking and comparison, and improving data safety.
  • Extensions for clustering—Achieve higher service availability by clustering servers together and removing single points of failure. SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension offers an industry-leading, mature high availability solution. Further enhance your business continuity by connecting data centers across unlimited distances with Geo Clustering for SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension.
  • Kernel improvements and btrfs—SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 ships with a modern Linux 4.4 kernel, delivering enhanced RAS capabilities. You get improved scalability and data integrity with btrfs; a more resilient file system; faster snapshot capabilities including capture, restore and compare; and rollback for better change control and reduced service times.
  • Control groups—SUSE Linux Enterprise Server features control groups for more fine-grained management of CPU, memory, storage and networking resources. Control groups let you assign specific hardware resources to applications, processes and threads. This precise control helps you optimize system performance, tune workload service response times and maximize uptime for your mission-critical workloads.
  • True firewall protection—SUSE Linux Enterprise Server protects your network from internal and external attacks with a "stateful" firewall. The Linux netfilter framework lets you establish an effective firewall that separates networks from each other. With the help of iptables—a generic table structure for the definition of rule sets—you can precisely control which packets are allowed to pass through a particular network interface. Setting up this kind of packet filter is simple with SUSE firewall l2 and the corresponding YaST administration module.

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