SuSE Linux is shipping a version of its Linux enterprise server operating system for Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron 64-bit chip.
SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 is based on the UnitedLinux operating system developed jointly by SuSE, Conectiva, the SCO Group and Turbolinux.
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Rival Red Hat had no plans to ship a version of its enterprise Linux operating system for Opteron until the third quarter of this year.
It's a good move for AMD and SuSE to partner, especially since in the US. neither is the top option for IT managers, the majority of which prefer their respective rivals Intel and Red Hat, said Forrester Research analyst Ted Schadler.
"This speaks of a relationship between AMD and SuSE that is strong and mutually beneficial," he added.
For IT managers, SuSE's Opteron support opens up a clear migration path because Opteron can run both 32-bit and 64-bit applications, Schadler said.
SuSE's challenge for the next six months will be to build on this early lead over Red Hat and line up more independent software vendors (ISVs) for its operating system, he said.
At the heart of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 is version 2.4.19 of the Linux kernel. The SuSE operating system has features that are important for storage area networks, such as asynchronous input/output operations, multipath memory access and management of up to 600 physical hard discs. It also supports up to 64 processors and features load balancing for levelling network computing capacity.
SuSE's Opteron version of its operating system has been certified for Oracle's Oracle9i and IBM's DB2 Universal databases.
The suggested retail price is $448 per CPU, which includes four CDs, documentation and maintenance for 12 months.