- by Michele Casey, Product Manager, Open Platform Solutions at Novell
Recently, we've been involved in many discussions around challenges customers face when planning for migrations to new service packs. At Novell we recognize it takes a considerable amount of time and investment for our customers to implement upgrades in the data center. They must design, validate and test before finally executing on a migration strategy. Service pack updates are a necessary part of maintaining the data center, as they not only address security vulnerabilities and critical defect fixes, but also provide new features for hardware enablement and enhancements. Enterprises are faced with finding a balance between applying required maintenance to servers and the time, cost and risk associated with such changes in the data center.
Enterprises require time to prepare for change and as such, Novell is offering solutions and programs designed to optimize and complement our customers' data center strategy. We were the first Linux distributor to formally offer (as part of your subscription) a 6 month migration policy, allowing our customers up to 6 months to move from a previous service pack to the latest released version. In addition, our service pack release cycles occur once every 12-18 months, saving time and money. But even with all these options, some customers may still need more time. For these customers we provide what is known as the Long Term Service Pack Support program.
With the Long Term Service Pack Support program, customers receive a minimum of 12 additional months to plan, test and deploy service pack updates in your data center. This provides at least 18 months to implement a migration strategy. During this time, Novell continues to provide the critical support needed for issues that may arise during this transition period.
Customers of any size may participate in the Long Term Service Pack Support program. The only requirement is a current SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscription.