Sunday, 5th December 2021
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SLE Micro 5.1 adds edge-focused security features

SLE Micro is rapidly becoming a critical foundation of customers’ digital transformation, in embedded devices, edge use cases and industrial IoT.

SUSE has introduced SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) Micro 5.1, a lightweight and secure operating system built for containerized and virtualized workloads. SLE Micro 5.1 adds edge-focused security features such as secure device onboarding and live patching, and it enables the modernizing of workloads with support for IBM Z and LinuxONE.

SLE Micro is built to scale, so customers can incorporate SLE Micro into their digital transformation plans – whether at the edge or supporting edge deployments with mainframes – in a way that allows them to transition workload designs from monolithic to microservices, at their own pace. They can start with container workloads or virtualizing their current legacy workloads, then move to containerized workloads when they are ready, with no change in the underlying system platform.

“SLE Micro is rapidly becoming a critical foundation of customers’ digital transformation, as evidenced by a large U.S.-based systems integrator choosing SLE Micro to modernize their embedded systems with a seven-figure investment,” said Thomas Di Giacomo, SUSE chief technology and product officer. “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. This win, within six months of SLE Micro’s introduction, underscores the enterprise readiness of SLE Micro, which is the result of leveraging decades of enterprise-hardened technology components of the SUSE Linux Enterprise family.”

SLE Micro is also helping to expand SUSE’s reach into some of its key industry focus segments, such as telecommunications and manufacturing.

“One of the world’s largest telecommunications companies views SLE Micro through the lens of openness because their current solution has morphed over several years into a locked-down stack,” Di Giacomo said. “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 explore commodity hardware from a number of vendors and build 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 also makes it easy for organizations of all sizes to adopt Kubernetes because it is designed to work well with K3s, SUSE Rancher (RKE2) or third-party Kubernetes distributions.

Bhumik Patel, director of server ecosystem development, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm, said, “Evidenced by the broad support for Arm initiatives such as Project Cassini, SOAFEE, and the most recently announced Project Centauri, it’s clear the industry is embracing cloud-native software principles today in order to stay ahead of the ever-changing power and performance requirements of edge and IoT devices. With the combination of SLE Micro and K3s, SUSE is providing an excellent platform for Arm-based embedded devices, edge use cases and industrial IoT applications.”

SLE Micro, teamed with other SUSE technologies, aims to be the foundation of container workloads deployed in all areas of production – edge environments, embedded, industrial IoT, and a variety of compute environments inside or outside the data center.

Important new customer benefits provided by SLE Micro 5.1 include:

•Decreased deployment time and fewer manual 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 independent hardware and software vendors (IHV and ISV) can ship an appliance directly to the end customer and remotely onboard the device securely.

•Reduced costly downtime per device with live patching of the kernel, allowing security patches to be applied as soon as available without waiting for a maintenance window and without stopping the running kernel. At the edge, this mitigates the high security risk from thousands of devices that have an active security vulnerability.

•Capability for the gradual modernization of applications toward a microservice-based architecture. SLE Micro, with its small footprint, built-in security framework and near-zero administrative overhead, provides an excellent container and virtualization host for IBM Z and LinuxONE. Customers can run their workloads (containerized or virtualized) in an optimal way – with minimal storage, more security and less latency – on the same mainframe that stores the enterprise’s mission-critical data.

Kara Todd, director of Linux, IBM Z and LinuxONE, IBM, said, “SUSE adding SLE Micro to its products supported on IBM Z and LinuxONE demonstrates a continued prioritization of choice. We expect our joint customers will appreciate 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.”


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