SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP3 released

The latest version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server extends the business Linux server to new processors and it improves performance and security.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) gets most of the headlines, but SUSE Linux Enteprise Server (SLES) is also a top-notch business Linux. The latest release, SLES 12 SP3, supports more hardware platforms then ever and has better performance, clustering ability, and security than ever.

This new patch supports the latest chips from ARM (AArch64), Intel, AMD, SAP HANA, IBM z Systems, and POWER. It also supports NVM (Non-Volatile Memory) Express over Fabrics.

Specifically, SUSE 12 SP3 supports:

  • Hardware and virtualization with higher compute density, less power consumption, and economical hardware using new ARM System-on-a-Chip (SoC) systems from Cavium, Qualcomm, and others.
  • Improve infrastructure agility with support for Intel's newest and most powerful Xeon processor scalable family.
  • Increase responsiveness with added support for the latest AMD EPYC and Ryzen processors for virtualization, compute, and datacenter workloads, including desktop systems.
  • Support data transaction and workload size growth for very large SAP HANA workloads on POWER using extended virtual address space
  • Optimize workloads and increase data security for z Systems with full support for SUSE KVM on z and enhanced cryptographic support for end-to-end data encryption.

The new SUSE release, which has been moving aggressively on the cloud, is also available on its native OpenStack cloud, Amazon Web Services, Azure, and Google Compute.

For performance and security, SLES 12 SP3 includes:

This release also fully supports MariaDB for database users and Docker containers.

You will also now be able to use SLES as a desktop with the new SUSE Linux Enterprise Workstation Extension. This requires a SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) subscription. SLED 12 SP3 now uses GNOME 3.20 for its desktop interface. If you prefer the older SLED look, SUSE is also offering a special SUSE Linux Enterprise Classic mode.

SLES 12, which was released in October 2014, has a 13-year life cycle, with 10 years of general support and three years of extended support. The current version (SP3) will be fully maintained and supported until six months after the release of SLES 12 SP4.

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