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Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Release: An Overview

HAVING WATCHED very closely the announcements of this product, I finally present what I was able to gather.

We wrote about the release of SLE* 11 on Tuesday and on Thursday, where we separately remarked on Novell's announcement. Here is the official announcement/press release (also in Linux Electrons). We start with Novell's own coverage.

The Spinners



Novell's PR Director, Ian Bruce, wrote about this release and there was a chunk of videos from Grant Ho who works for him.

Except for E-mails that Novell's PR department must have sent to many reporters, here is its direct output from the past week:

  1. It’s here!


  2. Grant Ho Episode 5 - It's here!


  3. We couldn’t do this alone


We covered some more of it before and we usually find that they throw some of that IDC 'study' into it, despite the fact that Novell paid for it too.

In an article that quotes us, SJVN calls SLED/SLES 11 "Novell's marriage of Linux and Windows." "I believe you pronounce SLES as 'sleeze'," says one person in Digg in response to this article.

.NET-savvy or Microsoft-savvy? Microsoft Linux?



Coverage from Jupitermedia was particularly interesting because it treats Novell's submission to Microsoft as though it's all fine and dandy. Here is what Sean wrote:

Novell generates a large portion of its Linux revenues from Microsoft as a result of a November 2006 deal between the two companies. SLES 11 benefits from the Microsoft partnership and will offer at least one feature that no other enterprise Linux distribution has ever had, support for Microsoft's .NET framework.

The .NET support comes by way of the Novell led Mono effort which to date has only been available on community Linux distributions like Novell's openSUSE and Red Hat's Fedora. Red Hat has told InternetNews.com in the past that it was not interested in including Mono with its Red Hat Enterprise Linux release.

Technically, Novell is calling the .NET support, SUSE Linux Enterprise Mono Extension. It's intended to enable users to run fully supported Microsoft .NET-based applications on Linux.


Some corresponding comments can be found here.

Eric Lai, who typically covers Microsoft and its intersections with OSS, wrote an article stating that "With SUSE Linux 11, Novell draws even closer to Microsoft"

The latest version of SUSE Linux Enterprise, Novell's commercial distribution of the open-source operating system, bears more fruit from Novell's controversial two-and-a-half-year-old interoperability alliance with Microsoft.


Here is the comments section where it says:

[A]s much as I like SuSE as a distribution: I'm inclined to avoid it in order to prevent dragging myself into the fray and to watch the situation very carefully to examine what evidence might come forth as to Microsoft's true end goal.


Other Announcement Coverage



Being a major announcement, it has received a lot of coverage. Here is what we netted.

The Inquirer: Novell SUSE Linux 11 out

AFTER TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING, Novell is releasing latest flagship SUSE Linux platform.

Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 11 are the first major updates since SLES and SLED 10 in 2006.


Pam Derringer at SearchEnterpriseLinux.com: SUSE 11 could boost Linux adoption with cloud

Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux 11 debuts today with numerous enhancements that should boost performance in the data center. Novell and IBM also teamed up on a cloud computing initiative that could potentially bolster SUSE Linux adoption in the long term.


Alastair Otter at Tectonic: Novell releases Suse Linux Enterprise 11

Novell yesterday released Suse Linux Enterprise 11 which includes a number of features intended to make the operating system interoperate better with Microsoft’s Windows OS. Major changes in the interests of interoperability include improvements in systems management, virtualisation and document formats.


Desktop Linux: SLE 11 adds enterprise features

Meanwhile, Novell has added a number of enterprise-oriented features and extensions to the new SLE distros, led by the new Mono support for .NET compatibility. Novell points to its somewhat controversial five-year partnership with Microsoft as a key to helping make SLE 11 work seamlessly with Microsoft Windows "in cross-platform virtualization, systems management, identity/directory federation, and document compatibility," says the company.


David Meyer at CNET and ZDNet: Novell releases Suse Linux Enterprise 11 (also in mirrors)

Paula Rooney at ZDNET: Novell delivers SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

Richard Adhikari at ECT: Novell Aims for the Clouds With Suse Enterprise 11

David Berlind at InformationWeek: Podcast: New Rev Of SUSE Linux First To Officially Support .NET, Silverlight

Charles Babcock at InformationWeek: Novell Launches Suse 11 With Eye On Virtual Appliances

Daniel Robinson at VNUNET: Novell ships Suse Linux Enterprise 11 (also in here)

J.A. Watson at ZDNet UK: SuSE Linux Enterprise 11 Released

Kevin McLaughlin at CRN: Novell Takes Wraps Off SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

Liam Lahey at eChannel Line (strongly pro-Novell): Novell ships SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

LinuxQuestions: SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Released

OSDir: Novell SUSE Linux 11 Release

Heise Online: SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

Heise: SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 released

TechRadar: SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 is here

ITNews( in Italian): IT: Novell presenta SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

OSNews Novell Releases Suse Linux Enterprise Server 11

Zmanda piggybacked this announcement to issue one of its own

Zmanda Delivers Data Protection for SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 from Novell



Zmandaâ„¢, the leader in open source backup and recovery software, today announced that its flagship products, Amanda Enterprise 3.0, and Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL 3.0 have been certified on SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 from Novell (NASDAQ:NOVL - News), the Linux platform that drives mission-critical computing from the desktop to the data center, for physical and virtual environments.


Beyond the Announcement



The Novell channel peddled a SLE 11 wallpaper and a review came from Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, who had received a copy of SLED 11 in advance. Being a pragmatist who has been a SUSE user for years, he concluded with:

SLED, with all of its Microsoft integration, isn't a Linux for free software purists. But it is a desktop Linux distro that makes a fine drop-in replacement for Windows at most offices.

Why would you want to do that? Because while there are some things that Windows users take for granted, such as being locked into Microsoft's document formats, there are security threats, such as Conflicker, that could destroy a business. If you want Windows compatibility, but you'd prefer a cheaper and more stable and secure alternative, then SLED 11 is the desktop operating system for you.


Here are SJVN's screenshots and here is long analysis from The Var Guy, who has not tried SLED 11 yet (so he mostly echoes what he hears from Novell or the press).

The Indian press combined news about the economy with this release of SLE.

Strengthening its strategy for open source and Linux, Novell recently announced its latest offering in SUSE Linux - the Enterprise Version 11. The new version comes to the market almost a year and a half after Novell released version 10.


Amy Newman, who writes about virtualisation, asks about the effects on this release from Novell on her area of interest/focus.

On Tuesday, Novell released version 11 of Suse Linux Enterprise Server. Key feature improvements are enterprise Mono support (.NET on Linux), high availability enhancements and a streamlined operating system build geared toward appliance vendors.

Even more significantly, is SLES 11's shift in focus. As virtualization has gained ground, vendors and analysts alike have been eulogizing the operating system. It appears Novell is among the first to take the message seriously.


So that's about all for the time being. Moe reviews will surely come soon.

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