SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP1 Enhances Support for HPC Computing

Also announced is SUSE Manager 4, an IT management platform with deeper life-cycle management for users.

Todd R. Weiss

June 26, 2019

5 Min Read
SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP1 Enhances Support for HPC Computing

SUSE has updated its SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 operating system and its SUSE Manager infrastructure management platform with a wide range of new features and improvements designed to simplify and streamline IT for business IT systems.

The company’s latest Linux operating system is SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 Service Pack 1, which adds enhanced support for high performance computing (HPC) workloads, improved hardware-based security and easier methods to move a business from the open source community-based version of SUSE Linux to the enterprise-supported version.

The other new releases, SUSE Manager 4 and SUSE Manager for Retail 4, bring new features to the company’s infrastructure management platforms, including improvements to further reduce complexity and improve control of enterprise IT operations.

For the open-source vendor, the updated products offer more ways to attract new customers who are looking to strengthen and streamline their IT systems using open source technologies, tools, design practices and thinking, Mike Kerr, SUSE’s director of North American channels and alliances, told Channel Futures. SUSE continues to work on integrating important components that customers desire over the next five years, including containers as a service and as a platform, multicloud platforms and software defined storage, he said.

“It also opens us up to new partners that are not already involved in open-source software to have products that are easy to work with and that feature compliance and expandability,” said Kerr. “We are offering as complete a product solution offering as there is in the marketplace and that’s critically important for partners because when they invest their business with us, we need to show them that we stay at the forefront of the industry.”

To enhance support for HPC workloads by business users, SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 Service Pack 1 bumps up its included SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Arm 15 component by doubling the number of supported system-on-a-chip (SoC) processor options, broadening support for storage and industrial automation applications on 64-bit Arm server and internet-of-things devices, the company said.

SUSE says the easier transition from community Linux versions to the enterprise versions can now be done using just a few clicks within the new SP1 version, giving businesses and developers more flexibility in deciding on the right operating system for their use.

Other improvements in the new SP1 version include better hardware-based security with full support for AMD’s Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) technology, which enables guest virtual machines to run in encrypted memory, helping to protect them from memory scrape attacks from the hypervisor. SP1 also supports AMD Secure Memory Encryption (SME), which uses a single key to encrypt system memory.

Workloads using Intel Optane DC persistent memory and second-generation Intel Xeon scalable processors also get new optimizations under SP1, while users also should expect, SUSE says, to see significant reductions in the time it takes to get software maintenance updates.

The SUSE Manager 4 and SUSE Manager for Retail 4 platforms are designed to help enterprise DevOps and IT operations teams reduce complexity, optimize operations and regain control of IT assets both on premises and remotely, while also increasing efficiency and meeting security policies.  The latest versions get several new features, including …

… the ability to manage Ubuntu Linux clients for the first time, support for managing the free, community-based openSUSE Leap version, and improvements in product life-cycle update and patch rollouts.

Joachim Werner, SUSE’s senior product manager of infrastructure management, said the Manager 4 platforms are built to help enterprises better manage their software defined infrastructure, including multiple Linux operating systems across hardware platforms such as x86, IBM Power Systems and z Systems. The platforms work with physical, virtual and cloud environments, using a single centralized management console. In addition to SUSE Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu are also supported.


SUSE’s Joachim Werner

For channel partners, SUSE Manager has always been a great upsell opportunity for the channel, especially those partners who also offer system integration and consulting, said Werner.

“Because of its capabilities for managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux and now Ubuntu, it is also a door-opener for SUSE partners to position SUSE in accounts that don’t have a SUSE Linux Enterprise footprint yet,” he said.

The improvements in SUSE Manager 4 are designed to make the product even more attractive for the channel, he said, by requiring less customization and reduced consulting requirements for smaller customers with fewer than 50 managed servers, he said.

Many of the latest features are included based on feedback and requests from channel partners and customers, said Werner.

“Managing Ubuntu has been an all-time favorite on the wish list of our  partners,” he said. “Now it’s finally there.”

Ashish Nadkarni, an IT analyst with IDC, said that SUSE’s new products continue to drive home the company’s message that operating systems still matter in a world which often seems more focused on cloud computing.


IDC’s Ashish Nadkami

“People are taking operating systems for granted,” Nadkarni told Channel Futures. “Not only are operating systems still crucial for the [base infrastructure of a company], but as companies get more cloud-friendly, the operating systems become more important. SUSE is certainly paying attention. They certainly want to be relevant.”

For the channel, SUSE continues to draw attention and messaging to its multimodal operating system and infrastructure platforms to attract new customers, Nadkami said. Those platforms and products can be important for channel partners because their interoperability can simplify sales and support for partners.

“They don’t have to have different folks trained on different things,” said Nadkarni. “They can have one group that is trained on everything. Customers demand this,” especially when dealing with open-source software where they may not have a lot of experience, he added. “Open source is not just a cultural shift; it is a knowledge shift as well. You handle open-source software differently.”

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About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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