Novell has released the latest version of its Suse Linux Enterprise software, adding support for high availability via clustering and compatibility with Microsoft's .Net application framework via the open source Mono project.
Available immediately, Suse Linux Enterprise 11 (SLE 11) contains enhancements for both desktop and server systems, and has been designed around the core themes of ubiquity, interoperability and mission-critical computing, Novell said.
On the server side, SLE 11 offers a high-availability extension that lets firms build Linux clusters to maintain business continuity. Available from the second quarter of 2009, it consists of various tools including Distributed Replicated Block Device for mirrored storage, Oracle Cluster File System 2, and a graphical user interface for monitoring and administering clustered environments.
The Suse Linux Enterprise Mono Extension enables firms to seamlessly run .Net applications on Linux without any need to recompile. Novell claimed to be the first vendor to offer commercial support for this. With SLE available for IBM System z, Novell said that IBM customers can also run .Net in a mainframe environment for the first time.
SLE also supports swap over NFS, enabling firms to deploy diskless servers that use remote storage instead. This can cut costs dramatically and lets firms protect against application restarts and expensive downtime, according to Novell.
On the desktop, SLE ships with upgraded versions of a number of key applications, including the OpenOffice.org application suite, Firefox browser, and Novell's Evolution email and calendar tool.
Also included is Moonlight, an open source implementation of Microsoft's Silverlight platform for browser-based applications. Novell said the desktop version of SLE is able to play Windows multimedia file formats.
Novell also announced the availability of Zenworks Linux Management 7.3, which enables customers to cut management costs of desktop and servers running SLE 11 using policy-driven automation.
SLE 11 is available in versions for systems based on 32-bit and 64-bit x86 chips, Itanium, IBM Power processors and IBM System z. It is also optimised to run inside virtual infrastructure based on VMware's ESX, Microsoft Hyper-V and Xen.
Prices vary according to one-year or three-year annual support subscriptions with Basic, Standard or Priority support levels. Desktops start at $50 (£34) per machine, with server installs from $349 (£237) per machine.
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