SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for VMware – Questions Answered

If you are anything like me, you were probably intrigued by the VMware and Novell joint announcement on Wednesday of VMworld. The initial announcement was fairly vague. “If you buy a SKU of ESX, you get a free copy of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for VMware with subscription to patches and updates at no additional cost” <Note: That is me just mimicking the announcement. Had I the original statement, I would post that instead… you get the point, though>.

So… that’s cool, right?! I think so, but there were some questions left unanswered… until today. And, those answers really lead towards a neat solution that can actually allow some companies to save on licensure and jump ship to SLES for VMware.

Here is what I learned:

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for VMware is an OEM version of SLES 11 SP1. So, it is SLES that is rebranded as a VMware offering.
  • By making the appropriate purchase and receiving the SLES for VMware rights, you are actually enabled to run as many copies of SLES for VMware as you would like on that specific ESX host.
    • Again… in the event that you missed it… UNLIMITED COPIES OF SLES ON THE SAME HOST… for buying the ESX license you were going to buy anyway.
  • Tech support can be purchased from VMware directly. As someone put it earlier “that means there is one throat to choke now… or one stop shopping”.

Additional questions I have now that I have marinated in the new knowledge:

  • Since we would be receiving patches and updates at no cost, are these provided by SUSE or does VMware need to vet them first?
  • Is there going to be any integration into SUSE Studio (the hosted version and/or the internal version)?

This ends up being a very timely announcement for us as we have a number of older Linux servers that we are looking to rebuild in our vSphere environment. Talk about awesome!

Oh yeah… did I mention that you can run UNLIMITED COPES OF SLES ON THE SAME HOST!?

If you prefer the horses mouth:

VMware Communities Roundtable Podcast

– Go to 47 minutes to hear from the Novell guys and John Troyer regarding the range of the offering.


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