Enterprise software giant Novell has put a date on the release of the first service pack for its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (SLES). The first major update since its launch a year ago doesn't bring any big new features and focuses on bug fixes and stability. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 1 is slated for release at the end of the second quarter. Still, it will come with a relatively modern Linux kernel, 2.6.32 with support for kernel-based mode setting (KMS). It also adds official support for the KVM virtualization scheme, which is being spearheaded by rival Red Hat.
The timeline for SLES 11 Service Pack 1 was disclosed in the SLES technology roadmap presentation scheduled for this year's Novell BrainShare developers conference on May 18.
As noted, SLES 11 Service Pack 1 will come with Linux kernel 2.6.32 which, among other features, has support for KMS. This was introduced by the kernel developers to provide support for more advanced functionality in future graphic card drivers. Novell says this was part of the reason for the upgrade to 2.6.32, from Linux kernel 2.6.27, and it allows SUSE Enterprise Linux 11 to be ready for whatever graphics card vendors have in store.
SLES 11 Service Pack 1 has impressive hardware support as well. From the Novel presentation
:· Exploit most recent hardware by scaling up to 4096 CPUs on AMD64/Intel64;
· Compute huge amounts of data in memory, e.g. in data- warehouse and ERP systems, by supporting 16TiB RAM (and beyond) on certified hardware;
· Improve inter-system connectivity and performance, reduce latency by enabling 10G ethernet hardware and Infiniband via the Open Fabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED).
Virtualization in SLES 11 gets some enhancements in Service Pack 1, to be expected given how many companies use the feature. Service Pack 1 will get official support for KVM, which is also slated to become the preferred virtualization method in SUSE Linux Enterprise. SLES 11 has relied on Xen for its virtualization capabilities and it is still the default option. Xen has also been updated to 4.0.