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Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP4

1 Planning for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

The implementation of an operating system either in an existing IT environment or as a completely new rollout must be carefully prepared. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP4 provides a variety of new features. It is impossible to describe all the new features here. The following is just a list of major enhancements that might be of interest.

Xen 4.0 Virtualization

Runs many virtual machines on a single server, each with its own instance of an operating system. For more information, see Virtualization with Xen.

YaST

Several new configuration options have been developed for YaST. These are normally described in the chapters about the technology involved.

SPident

The management utility SPident gives an overview of the installed software base and clarifies the current service pack level of the system.

Directory Services

Several LDAP-compliant directory services are available:

  • Microsoft Active Directory

  • OpenLDAP

AppArmor

Harden your System with the AppArmor technology. This service is described in depth in Part IV, “Confining Privileges with AppArmor”.

AIDE

This is an intrusion detection system that can be setup to detect unauthorized changes to the system.

iSCSI

iSCSI provides an easy and reasonably inexpensive solution for connecting Linux computers to central storage systems. Find more information about iSCSI in Storage Administration Guide.

Network File System v4

Starting with version 10, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server supports NFS also in version 4. This gives you performance improvements, strong security, and a stateful protocol.

Oracle Cluster File System 2

OCFS2 is a general-purpose journaling file system that is fully integrated in the Linux 2.6 kernel and later. Find an overview of OCFS2 in the High Availability Guide.

Linux Kernel Crash Dump

Debugging kernel-related problems is now much easier when using Kexec and Kdump. This technology is available on x86, AMD64, Intel 64, and POWER platforms.

1.1 Considerations for Deployment of a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

At the beginning of the planning process, you should try to define the project goals and needed features. This must always be done individually for each project, but the questions to answer should include the following:

  • How many installations should be done? Depending on this, the best deployment methods differ. See also Chapter 5, Deployment Strategies.

  • Will the system run as physical host or as a virtual machine?

  • Will the system be in a hostile environment? Have a look at Chapter 1, Security and Confidentiality to get an overview of consequences.

  • How will you get regular updates? All patches are provided online for registered users. Find the registration and patch support database at http://download.novell.com/patch/finder/.

  • Do you need help for your local installation? Novell provides training, support, and consulting for all topics pertaining to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Find more information about this at http://www.novell.com/products/server/.

  • Do you need third-party products? Make sure that the required product is also supported on the desired platform. Novell can provide help to support software on different platforms when needed.

1.2 Deployment of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

To make sure that your system will run flawlessly, always try to use certified hardware. The hardware certification process is an ongoing process and the database of certified hardware is updated regularly. Find the search form for certified hardware at http://developer.novell.com/yessearch/Search.jsp.

Depending on the number of desired installations, it is beneficial to use installation servers or even completely automatic installations. Have a look at Chapter 5, Deployment Strategies for more information. When using Xen virtualization technologies, network root file systems or network storage solutions like iSCSI should be considered.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server provides you with a broad variety of services. Find an overview of the documentation in this book in About This Guide. Most of the needed configurations can be made with YaST, the SUSE configuration utility. In addition, many manual configurations are described in the corresponding chapters.

In addition to the plain software installation, you should consider training the end users of the systems as well as help desk staff.

1.3 Running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating system is a well-tested and stable system. Unfortunately, this does not prevent hardware failures or other causes for downtime or data loss. For any serious computing task where data loss could occur, a regular backup should be done.

For optimal security and data safety, you should make regular updates of all the operated machines. If you have a mission critical server, you should run a second identical (pre-production) machine where you can apply all changes for testing purposes before doing so in production. This also gives you the possibility of switching machines in the case of hardware failure.

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