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SUSE Unveils SUSE Linux Enterprise 15, Its Latest Multimodal OS

Using a code base that's common with other SUSE products, SLE15 is built to make it easier and more efficient for enterprises to run multiple platforms alongside each other, including cloud, containers, on-premises IT and more.

With a wide range of new features and improvements aimed at making IT more seamless for enterprises, SUSE's latest SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 operating system will be available starting in mid-July with a rich multimodal approach and an all-new unified installer.

Also announced is the company's latest SUSE Manager 3.2 application and its SUSE Linux Enterprise High Performance Computing 15 operating system, which are built to integrate and work with the rest of the SUSE Linux family. The new offerings were announced by the company on June 25.

SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 platform uses a common code base with other products in the SUSE Linux line-up to ensure they work together seamlessly and that they work well with other applications. The idea, says SUSE, is that by building SUSE Linux with a multimodal approach that deployment and operations are simplified and streamlined for enterprises and their operations.

With a multimodal approach, customers can deploy and transition business-critical workloads across on-premise and public cloud environments as needed, while simplifying connections which would have been more complicated in the past, according to SUSE.

Matthias Eckermann, director of product management for SUSE, told Channel Futures that the biggest thing for the channel in the upcoming SLE 15 release is its integration as a multimodal operating system out of the box to help businesses of all sizes improve their IT deployments and operations.

Matthias Eckermann

"It includes a containers framework that allows users to build and deploy containers right away," as well as tighter integration with the cloud as well as traditional IT, he said. The unified code base across all other with other SUSE products adds to that flexibility for enterprises, he said.

"It must be developer friendly, not just friendly to traditional IT and administrators," said Eckermann. "Developers in the past were left in stressful situations" because the infrastructure was deployed inside data centers and IT operations without consulting them, and then they were told what tools they would use, he said. Today, SLE 15 considers developers in the IT mix as well.

In addition, the all-new inclusion of a unified installer makes the installation and configuration of the SUSE Linux platform easier to deploy for IT administrators, all from one place, he said.

The latest SUSE Manager 3.2 application is built to help users lower costs, improve their DevOps efficiency and better manage their large, complex deployments across a wide range of IoT, cloud and container infrastructures. SUSE Manager 3.2 can be used to manage everything from edge devices to Kubernetes environments.

And for high-performance computing (HPC) users, the latest SUSE Linux Enterprise High Performance Computing 15 platform provides a comprehensive set of supported tools specifically designed for the parallel computing environment, including workload and cluster management, according to SUSE.

"As organizations around the world transform their enterprise systems to embrace modern and agile technologies, multiple infrastructures for different workloads and applications are needed," Thomas Di Giacomo, SUSE's CTO, said in a statement. "This often means integrating cloud-based platforms into enterprise systems, merging containerized development with traditional development, or combining legacy applications with microservices," bridging traditional and software-defined infrastructure via the new multimodal SUSE Linux Enterprise 15.

A Good Approach for the Channel, Say Analysts

Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT, told Channel Futures that SUSE's new release includes some new function and support features that are focused on lowering costs, improving management in complex IT environments including on-premises data centers, cloud, containers and IoT infrastructures, while at the same time enhancing DevOps engagements and efficiency.

And with support for multimodal IT, SUSE "is letting customers know it has their backs wherever their IT resources and workloads reside," whether that is in hybrid computing environments, cloud services, edge computing, containerized workloads or other scenarios, said King.

"The emphasis on improved efficiencies and cost containment could enable channel partners to deliver service and support more effectively, resulting in better margins or competitive positioning," he added. "The unified installer's value depends on the size of particular deployments. It could be a big deal for customers with sizable existing SUSE-based infrastructures or for those considering such solutions. For others, not so much."

Another analyst, Carl Brooks of 451 Research, said that while SUSE's approach is not entirely new, "it is appropriate for today's market, which requires awareness of and support for multiple kinds of IT deployment."

For channel partners, the latest SUSE operating system and its other components are "a welcome recognition of the need to support all these avenues of IT deployment, but it's not going to change the world. SUSE has always had a strong channel play and this release is a recognition that it has to cater to partners as much if not more than to the enterprise end user."

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