Once upon a time, we got Linux distributions because they were the Swiss-Army Knives of operating systems. They came with every program you might ever need. You can nonetheless get those, of course. But, lately, businesses have been wanting lightweight, secure Linux distros for cloud and edge computing containers and virtual machines (VM)s. To meet that demand, the latest business-class Linux is SUSE‘s new SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 (SLE Micro).
You can use SLE Micro as a single-node container host, Kubernetes cluster node, single-node KVM virtualization host, or, of course, in the public cloud. Since it’s constructed to scale, you can also use it at the edge or to support edge deployments with mainframes. This makes it simpler to move your workloads designs from monolithic to microservices at your own pace.
Customers seem to like this plan. “SLE Micro is rapidly becoming a critical foundation of clients’ digital transformation, as evidenced by a large U.S.-based systems integrator choosing SLE Micro to modernize their embedded systems with a 7-determine funding,” said Thomas Di Giacomo, SUSE’s chief technology and product officer in a statement. “They want to support container workloads on an immutable infrastructure that is easy to maintain and update, enabling them to reduce maintenance costs and modernize their systems infrastructure.”
For example, Di Giacomo continued, a global telecom giant is using SLE Micro because they’re shifting from a stale, static proprietary system to the open-source SLE Micro. “For them, closed-source software is not viable because it severely limits their ability to invest and innovate with not only software but also hardware. SLE Micro helped them unlock the cost-savings potential of open-source design for both software and hardware. With SLE Micro’s open standards design, they can discover commodity hardware from a number of distributors and construct an open source-based software platform using open standards such as Kubernetes with open source tools of their choice. Ultimately, they expect significant savings on software and hardware while keeping full control of their technology stack strategy and roadmap.”
SLE Micro isn’t just a small distribution though. It also comes with edge-focused security features such as secure device onboarding and live patching.
So what does all this bring to clients? According to SUSE:
Decreased deployment time and fewer guide processes with improved onboarding security through secure device onboarding of appliances and devices. Using the integrated secure device onboarding client, managed service providers (MSP) or unbiased hardware and software distributors (IHV and ISV) can ship an appliance immediately to the end customer and remotely and securely onboard the device.
Reduced costly downtime per device with live patching of the kernel, allowing security patches to be utilized as soon as available without waiting for a maintenance window and without stopping the operating kernel. This mitigates the high-security risk from thousands of devices that have an lively security vulnerability at the edge.
Capability for the gradual modernization of applications towards a microservice-based architecture. With its small footprint, constructed-in security framework, and near-zero administrative overhead, SLE Micro provides an excellent container and virtualization host for IBM Z and LinuxONE. Customers can run their workloads (containerized or virtualized) optimally — with minimal storage, more security, and less latency — on the same mainframe that shops the enterprise’s mission-critical data.
Kara Todd, IBM Z and LinuxONE’s director of Linux, said in a statement, “SUSE adding SLE Micro to its products supported on IBM Z and LinuxONE demonstrates a continued prioritization of choice. We expect our joint clients will respect being able to take advantage of this immutable Linux distribution as a KVM host in their secure execution stack, taking advantage of the security and reliability the IBM Z platform provides.”
So, if you’re interested in a lightweight and secure Linux for your cloud-native initiatives, mainframe, what-have-you, give SLE Micro a gaze. You can give this new Linux a try by downloading SLE Micro for any of its 3 supported platforms. I think you’ll like what you see.