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Novell takes SuSE Enterprise Linux to the next kernel

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Novell has taken the lead position in the kernel wars, beating out rival Red Hat with a new server operating system based on the latest Linux version.

Novell today delivered SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, which uses the 2.6 Linux kernel. The operating system also ships with the JBoss application server and support for a host of processors, including the latest 64-bit extension products from AMD and Intel. Red Hat mimicked Novell on the day, adding an application server of its own to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but is still behind its rival with an OS based on the 2.4 kernel.

With the 2.6 kernel, SLES 9 comes with a number of high-end features for running Linux on large, multiprocessor servers. Users can expect better memory management, I/O support, hypertheading performance and NUMA support. Novell has also tweaked its YaST installation and administration tool to work with the CIM standard for hardware management.

In total, Novell is hoping the operating system can compete better against Unix on higher-end systems. That's one reason why it has bundled an application server - a move typical of big time data center players such as IBM, Sun Microsystems and Oracle. Customers, however, need to pay extra if they want support for the JBoss product.

The software is available immediately at a price of $349 for a two-processor server. Customers can find more information on all the new additions in Version 9 here. ®

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