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First sight at SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware

A couple of days ago I stumbled upon something I nearly forgot: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware.

This is a slightly customized version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) created 2010 during a cooperation between VMware and Novell. The most interesting thing about this is that this version is completely without charge for owners of the VMware vSphere editions Standard or higher. Yes, you’re right – without any charge. Usually you’ll have to buy subscriptions in order to get patches and updates for SLES. This is inapplicable to VMware customers becuase the patch and update entitlements are bound to the vSphere subscription. This means: as long as vSphere is maintained SLES installations will also be maintained.

There are no installation limits – you can install as much SLES guests as possible. This can be interesting because you don’t have the typical limitations per virtual guest. But there are some installation roles that are understandably missing in comparsion with the conventional SLES:

  • Infiniband (OFED)
  • KVM Virtual Machine Host Server
  • Xen Virtual Machine Host Server

Like the conventional SLES ext4 is also not supported as installation target (see gallery) – even after the installation ext4 is only supported read-only. I don’t know the reason for this but I’d prefer ext4 instead of btrfs support.

The offering only refers to update and patch subscriptions – telephone and mail support for SLES can be bought optionally at VMware Global Support Services. I found no prices in the internet – you shouldn’t forget that if you’re comparing the prices.

To use SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware you only need to fill out an online form: [click me!]. You need to enter the serial numbers of the particular ESXi hosts – afterwards activation codes are generated. You can enter those codes during the instalaltion.

This offer is interesting for medium and big companies because you might save some money by dropping the conventional subscriptions. Such companies typically use at least vSphere Standard anyway if VMware products are used. In this case the subscription is an additional “goodie“. Small companies often buy the popular Essential kits – the extra charge isn’t always profitable.

The only thing that might be declared as disadvantage is that the support is obtained at VMware and not SUSE – but I don’t have personal experiences about that. If the VMware support for SLES is like the support for vSphere (which really satisfied me so far!) this can’t be a disadvantage. 🙂

Attached some scrrenshots of a test installation:

Update from 10/12/2014:

The cooperation was cancelled on  07/25/2014 (see also here). Existing subscriptions will remain for 6 months after the release of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server SP4. New registrations are not possible anymore.

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