Novell has unveiled SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Service Pack 1. The service pack brings with it 'enhanced virtualization' and 'high availability' but also better support and easier maintenance for channel partners, Novell claims. Here's a closer look at Novell's latest SUSE Linux efforts.

According to Novell, the new SUSE Linux service pack has been optimized for aforementioned cloud, virtual and physical infrastructures -- part of Novell's broader Intelligent Workload Management (IWM) strategy. Enhancements in the service pack, according to Novell, include:
  • The latest Xen 4.0 Hypervisor with improved virtual I/O performance, and support for KVM.
  • Clustering advances that support metro area clusters and simple node recovery with ReaR.
  • An updated 2.6.32 Linux kernel leveraging RAS features in Intel's Xeon 7500 and 5600 series CPUs.
  • Better Bluetooth support along with latest versions of Firefox, OpenOffice and "improved interoperability" with Microsoft Exchange.
What's more, Novell is looking to position SLE11SP1 for some longevity in its life cycle, and easier usability for customers adopting it. SP1 brings with it flexible support for older packages and is designed to lower the difficulty in deploying upcoming service packs, Novell says. Control for when upgrades take place, and which ones take place are tweaked as well, so VARs can focus on stability while still being proactive in applying updates and patches.

Partner Support

SP1 also brings enhancements to the Partner Linux Driver Program, which gives SLE11SP1 partners and customers access to the latest supported hardware drivers and kernel modules throughout the Novell partner ecosystem.

When can you get your hands on the service pack? June 2 at the earliest officially, but Novell says preview DVDs are available at BrainShare EMEA. Lastly, for a limited time, there's free training, migration assistance and virtualization support all complementary with a purchase of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscriptions. You can find details here.

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