Linux specialist Suse has released a public beta of Suse Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 2, an upcoming update for the platform that adds support in areas such as software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) plus system security enhancements.
Available to download now, the public beta release of Suse Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 2 enables customers to evaluate and give feedback on new capabilities in the update, which is slated for release around September.
Suse Linux Enterprise 12 is the most recent version of the firm's Linux distribution for operating mission-critical applications and infrastructure. It shipped in October 2014, and the first service update (SP1) was delivered to customers at the start of this year.
SP2 adds capabilities to help businesses transform IT to take advantage of modern data centre and cloud computing opportunities, the firm said.
Among these is production support for Open vSwitch, an open source distributed virtual switch, plus the Data Plane Development Kit which dramatically boosts packet processing performance and throughput.
These are included to meet the exacting performance requirements of SDN and NFV, the latter referring to the replacement of telecoms hardware with software appliances running on commodity hardware.
"The exciting infrastructure capabilities in SP2 will help keep customers ahead of the innovation curve," said Suse product marketing manager Raj Meel.
However, this is an open beta available to all developers, users and Linux community members, Meel said.
"To introduce these capabilities more widely, we've made this a truly open beta, not just for customers," he added.
SP2 also provides greater business continuity support, offering near-zero downtime, according to Suse, thanks to expanded clustering capabilities implemented with the Distributed Replicated Block Device feature for mirroring block storage over a network.
Other enhancements include support for the Trusted Platform Module 2.0 cryptographic security chip standard, and for the latest Skylake generation of Intel processors.
SP2 delivers the latest Gnome 3.20 desktop environment, which features Google Drive integration, redesigned notifications and the Gnome Builder development environment.
Suse Linux Enterprise 12 SP2 runs on systems with 64-bit x86 processors, IBM z Systems and Power8 systems.
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