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Attachmate's SUSE Linux division is updating their Linux appliance-making technology with a new release. SUSE Studio 1.2 includes new features as well as new branding for what was once known as the SUSE Appliance Toolkit.
SUSE Studio started out as an online service in 2009 and then expanded it with an on-premise version for enterprises and software vendors in 2010. For on-premise users, the technology was known as the SUSE Appliance Toolkit and included the SUSE Lifecycle Management Server (SLMS).
With SLMS an ISV can manage software licenses and entitlements as well as distribute software patches and updates. With the SUSE Studio 1.2 update, the on-premise suite will only have the SUSE Studio name and the Appliance Toolkit name is being dropped. Instead, there is now the SUSE Studio Standard and Advanced Editions. The key addition with the advanced edition is that it enables users to build Linux appliances that will run on IBM's System Z mainframe.
Sabine Soellheim, senior marketing manager at SUSE, told InternetNews.com that the mainframe use case is a valuble one. Soellheim noted that now mainframe users have the ability to easily move their application workloads from x86 to mainframe without the need to port application code. A SUSE Studio user can simple create an appliance image that will run on System Z.
SUSE Studio 1.2 also supports directly publishing of a Linux appliance to the cloud via Amazon EC2. Soellheim noted that while SUSE Studio users could have built images that would have been able to run on Amazon before, with SUSE Studio 1.2, the system now supports a 1-click deployment option making it easier and faster.
Additionally, SUSE Studio 1.2 now includes the Gallery feature that online users have had for over a year. The SUSE Appliance Gallery online is a showcase of Linux appliances that users can then choose to download. For the on-premise version the Gallery enables an enterprise or ISV to showcase their own appliances, in an effort to make it easier for users to find and download the appliance they want.
SUSE does not currently have an ecommerce engine available as part of the Gallery. Soellheim said that is something that SUSE is currently evaluating, but currently the gallery is just a showcase for appliances.
Moving forward, Soellheim noted that she expects to see further cloud improvement for SUSE Studio.
"I personally believe that the appliance form factor is really of value for cloud and portable application deployments," Soellheim said.