New in SUSE Manager 2.1

Check out the enhanced capabilities that make it even easier to manage your data center.

Based on the Spacewalk open source project (Spacewalk 2.1), SUSE Manager is the best solution for managing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and related SUSE Linux Enterprise extensions as well as Red Hat Enterprise Linux. SUSE Manager allows customers to reduce the inherent complexity of managing multiple Linux distributions. It manages Linux systems across diverse hardware architectures and virtual and cloud environments. It also provides seamless system management with a single, centralized solution.

SUSE Manager 2.1 is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP3. It simplifies installations, especially for smaller setups, and focuses on further reducing operational costs. Specifically, SUSE Manager 2.1 provides improvements for:

  • Usability
  • Provisioning
  • Compliance and security
  • Power management

In addition, SUSE Manager can manage Linux instances on System z or be hosted on an IBM mainframe to manage hosted Linux workloads residing there and, if required, other Linux workloads in your distributed environment.

Enhancements come with the following new technical features:

  • Setup wizard
  • Improved web UI
  • Action chaining
  • Unattended bare-metal system provisioning
  • Power management
  • Compliance check based on CVE numbers



Chapter Usability Improvements

The SUSE Manager Setup Wizard guides system administrators through the basic steps needed to configure a fully operational SUSE Manager server. As a result, it makes configuration easier and faster.

SUSE Manager 2.1 now comes with an improved web UI for a modernized look-and-feel. This has features like the Day Picker. The modernized look-and-feel improves viewing on smaller screen sizes and mobile devices. As a result, the improved web UI dramatically enhances SUSE Manager usability on desktops and mobile devices such as tablets and phones.

Benefits:

  • Spending less time learning the system and functionality, which reduces training and support costs
  • Managing their Linux environment from various devices
  • Using SUSE Manager with greater confidence and becoming more efficient, accurate, and productive, resulting in greater user satisfaction

The improved web UI was developed by the SUSE engineering team and contributed upstream to the Spacewalk project.

Another usability improvement is "action chaining". It provides the ability to link multiple actions into a defined sequence or workflow (like installing packages, rebooting the system, executing scripts), so that administrators can automatically process another action when one action completes. Administrators benefit from bundling and executing related management actions in one step, saving time and administration effort.

Provisioning Improvements

A growing IT environment makes it more and more difficult for IT to consistently provision new servers with a variety of configurations and applications. This leads to higher costs in operations and administrators spending a significant amount of their time on server provisioning. SUSE Manager 2.1 allows IT to add unprovisioned ("bare-metal") systems with PXE booting to the organization. As a result, those unprovisioned systems appear in the SUSE Manager "Systems" list and can now be provisioned in a completely unattended fashion.

Benefits:

  • Optimized lifecycle management capabilities
  • Reduced time spent on manual server provisioning tasks like waking powered-off machines for installation

For example, after physical machines have been installed in a rack, they do not need to be touched for additional installations. IT can perform Installation remotely.

Power Management Improvements

SUSE Manager allows customers to power on, off and reboot bare-metal systems via the IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) protocol.

Benefits:

  • More control over remotely deployed servers
  • Better control in cases of system failure
  • Reduced energy costs
  • More security for unused servers

Compliance and Security Management Improvements

Ensuring compliance with numerous IT regulations has become an important security requirement for many IT environments. Failure to comply with these regulations can be a costly mistake.

SUSE Manager makes it easier and faster for IT organizations to comply with various regulations, standards and policies, for example, through improvements of OpenSCAP. OpenSCAP is the open source implementation of SCAP (Security Content Automation Protocol), a standardized approach to maintaining the security of enterprise systems, such as automatically verifying the presence of patches, checking system security configuration settings and examining systems for signs of compromise. SUSE Manager 2.1 allows IT users to perform configuration and vulnerability scans and enables easy comparison between the various SCAP scans, helping them to examine their organization's SCAP content and the implementation details for compliance checks.

Furthermore, SUSE Manager provides an easy-to-use interface to CVE (Common Vulnerability and Exposures) vulnerability data. Administrators can easily search for publicly known information security vulnerabilities and exposures.

Benefits:

  • Automated vulnerability management, security measurement and compliance
  • Increased IT security through fast identification of security vulnerabilities
  • The ability to implement a systematic approach to system vulnerabilities and exposures
  • Improved patch management

SUSE Manager and System z

Many enterprises are adding SUSE Linux Enterprise for System z to their IT infrastructure to reduce costs and simplify their environment. SUSE Manager adds a holistic management approach that allows automated management and integration across hardware platforms. SUSE Manager 2.1 is now available on System z, providing you with updates and patches from a central location. It allows you to easily tackle the challenges of maintaining and demonstrating compliance for all of your Linux workloads on System z; have a defined physical security boundary, running all of your workloads within one machine; and benefit from the unique features of a high-speed, in-memory network and mainframe I/O capabilities.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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