Novell Extends Linux Support, Updates SLES 10

Novell (NASAQ: NOVL) this week announced plans to extend the amount of time it provides support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) releases.

The extended support comes as Novell releases the last Service Pack update for SLES 10. SLES 10 first debuted in 2006 and has had three previous service pack updates.

SLES 10 SP 4 continues to use the 2.6.16 kernel version that has been included with previous SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 releases.

“SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP4 primarily contains the latest fixes, patches and updates issued for the SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 platform, as well as support for a large set of the latest hardware,” Doug Jarvis, product marketing manager, Linux Enterprise at Novell told “Key new features include support for HyperPAV and hardware-accelerated cryptographic devices on IBM System z.”

Jarvis noted that the general support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 will end in 2013, delivering a seven year support phase.

“Customers that want to extend the support lifecycle for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 can now receive up to three extra years with Long Term Service Pack Support (LTSS), leading to a total support lifecycle of ten years,” Jarvis said. “A customer that deploys SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP4 today can receive support for that specific minor release for five years – two years of general support, plus three years of extended support using the LTSS offering.”

A total supported period of 10 years is not uncommon for enterprise operating systems. Red Hat offers similar 10 year support spans as well and Novell has had its own long term support offerings.

“In the past, Novell’s ten year lifecycle for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server comprised seven years of general support and three years of self support,” Jarvis said. “We also provided support on a customized, one-off basis for customers that wanted to extend their commercial support beyond the initial seven years. With the enhancements to the LTSS program, we are now standardizing extended support for x86 and IBM System z platforms, and will provide security updates and critical bug fixes for up to three years with the LTSS offering.”

Jarvis added that self support options will continue to be available for customers that do not use LTSS.

According to Jarvis, though both Novell and Red Hat offer ten year Linux lifecycles for major versions of their enterprise Linux server distributions, Novell customers can obtain longer support for individual service packs.

“LTSS enables customers to obtain support for a specific service pack for up to three years past the end of that service pack’s general support period,” Jarvis said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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