March 1st Meeting Notes - SUSE Presentation

We had a great turnout for a special presentation on SUSE by its local representative, Cameron Seader, who has an office Meridian. Before the evening was over, we had 12 members in attendance, all the chairs were taken! Cameron was very knowledgeable in his presentation, keeping our attention up to the 8 o'clock hour. Before getting into his selected topic of the evening, SUSE Studio, Cameron spent sometime talking about SUSE and its activities in the Linux space. Much has changed since SUSE was split off from Novell after the Attachmate purchase and has returned to its roots in being headquartered in Nuemburg, Germany. SUSE is now focused on the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (SLES 11) as its main offering and building on that base with an array of services and support. It does sell a support offering where support is provided by SUSE Certified Linux Professionals (CLP) and also bundle in support for Red Hat and CentOS along with their support for SUSE although they do not sell Red Hat or CentOS products. The next major event in the SUSE SLES 11 product will be the release of SP3 sometime early next year. Service Offerings include: Real Time Extension Low Latency Kernel Point Of Service Virtualization – XEN, KVM, Hyper-V, VMware SuSE Manager SuSE Studio SuSE Gallery SuSE for Amazon EC2 Cloud SUSE is also a participant in openstack.org, the Community version of Cloud Management Software. One of Cameron's comment is that VMware now recommends SUSE SLES as it hypervisor OS. Cameron then turned to his presentation on SUSE Studio http://susestudio.com/home. SUSE studio is a free service of SUSE where anyone can open an account and create SUSE product images based on openSUSE and SLES; the images can be used on USB devices, copied the hard drives, ran from a LiveCD as well as installed in a virtual environment including the cloud. SUSE sells a stand-alone version of SUSE studio for the enterprise and offers an add-in for SuSE Lifecycle Manager. Lifecycle Manager is a Patch Manager which manages the images in tracking patches and updates that can then be built into the image and refreshed. One note he made was that while openSUSE images are free to use, SLES builds are for evaluation use and only have a 60 day license. Cameron then gave us a walk through demonstration in creating a new "appliance" based on openSUSE KDE-4 and went through each of the steps in the process and finished by running the newly built image in the SUSE studio virtualized environment. During the presentation, Cameron answered many questions including how to add repositories and packages not directly found in SUSE Studio from software.opensuse.org. SUSE Studio "mascot" is the Dister Robot and your can read more about him at the SUSE Studio Blog. Camearon spent the remainder of his time in discussing WebYast and KIWI which XML based and customizable as such. We also talked about some of the frustrations in moving Studio images to USB devices based on of our members questions. SUSE Studio offers a number of resources to help in the process which can be somewhat daunting given the idiosyncrasies of USB drives: Disk Image Howtos Finishing off evening's presentation, Cameron talked about SUSE partnerships with IBM and Dell. And then he gave away some SUSE USB drives and flash lights that were quickly picked up by those present. Thanks to Cameron for joining our group and we are looking to hearing more about SUSE products from him in the futur as well as benefiting from his expertise with SUSE Linux. Our next meeting will be Thursday, April 5th, in the Gates Meeting Room on the first floor of the Boise Public Library! at 715 S. Capitol Blvd, at our usual time of 6:30 PM. As always, our meetings are open to the public and free to attend.