SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 Adds Edge-Focused Security Features

SUSE, a global provider of enterprise-grade open-source solutions, has released SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) Micro 5.1, a lightweight and highly secured operating system designed for containerized and virtualized workloads. SLE Micro 5.1 comes with edge-focused security features including secure device onboarding and live patching, as well as compatibility for IBM Z and LinuxONE, allowing workloads to be modernized.

Organizations may use SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro in their digital transformation strategies – whether at the edge or supporting edge deployments with mainframes – and convert workload designs from monolithic to microservices at their own pace. They may start with container workloads or virtualizing their existing traditional workloads, then transition to containerized workloads when they’re ready, all while keeping the underlying system platform the same.

“SLE Micro is rapidly becoming a critical foundation of organizations’ 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.”

Key edge-focused security features and benefits provided by SLE Micro 5.1 would include:

  • Decreased deployment time and fewer manual processes with improved onboarding security through secure device onboarding of appliances and devices – Managed service providers (MSPs) and independent hardware and software vendors (IHVs and ISVs) can send an appliance straight to the end customer and securely onboard it using the integrated secure device onboarding client.
  • Reduced costly downtime per device with live patching of the kernel – Allows security patches to be implemented as soon as they become available, without having to wait for a maintenance window or restarting the kernel. This mitigates the substantial security risk posed by thousands of devices with an active security vulnerability at the edge.

Another benefit provided by SLE Micro 5.1 would include:

  • Capability for the gradual modernization of applications toward a microservice-based architecture – SLE Micro would be a great container and virtualization host for IBM Z and LinuxONE, thanks to its minimal footprint, built-in security architecture, and near-zero administrative overhead. Organizations may run their workloads (containerized or virtualized) on the same mainframe that contains the enterprise’s mission-critical data in the most efficient way possible – with less storage, higher security, and lower latency.

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

Telecoms and Manufacturing

Photo Thomas Di Giacomo, SUSE chief technology and product officer
“Organizations 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,” said Thomas Di Giacomo, SUSE chief technology and product officer.

SLE Micro is also assisting SUSE in expanding its presence into key industry focus categories including telecoms 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,” added Mr. Di Giacomo. “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.”

As it is designed to operate well with K3s, SUSE Rancher (RKE2), and third-party Kubernetes deployments, SLE Micro would make it simple for enterprises of all sizes to adopt Kubernetes.

“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,” said Bhumik Patel, director of server ecosystem development, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm. “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.”

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