Last week, openSUSE maintainers sent a note to the openSUSE mailing list telling folks that openSUSE will now be focusing on native software management using YaST and “zypp”, the package management library. As a result, openSUSE 10.3 will not include the ZENworks Management Daemon (zmd).
Here’s what that means:
First, and most important, patch, update and software deployment will remain compatible between SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 and future Novell solutions, so that customers can rest easy that their existing update systems will work for the entire supported life-cycle of their SUSE Linux Enterprise investment.
Some background… openSUSE is the community project on which the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform is built. Novell funds openSUSE, and a large number of the engineers inside Novell are contributors to the openSUSE project. Both openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 include a package management library called “zypp,” which is a combined evolution of package-management infrastructures from Novell (the ZENworks family), traditional SUSE (YaST Online Update) and Ximian (Red Carpet Enterprise). Since the release of SUSE Linux Enterprise 10, the openSUSE community has worked to enhance the capabilities of this “zypp” infrastructure, while maintaining the full enabling of enterprise customers and environments.
Last week, the openSUSE team decided to focus their efforts on YaST and “zypp”. Why? The short answer is that ZENworks is not necessary for openSUSE. openSUSE is targeted at the technical enthusiasts who want a cutting-edge distribution to sample the latest and greatest Linux technology. Most openSUSE users deploy one or two servers in their environment. They don’t need the capabilities inside ZENworks to manage those one or two servers. In order to patch one or two servers in a non-mission-critical environment, the YaST and “zypp” tools are sufficient.
For those organizations who want to run Linux across their entire infrastructure for mission-critical functions, we recommend SUSE Linux Enterprise 10, our desktop to data center platform. Ane we recommend ZENworks to manage and automate the delivery of policies, software and patches to all servers in the enterprise.
Our engineers continue to work on automatic detection and integration of SUSE Linux Enterprise systems into a ZENworks infrastructure, while maintaining the high standards of interoperability, scalability, security and performance customers expect from Novell technologies. Together, SUSE Linux Enterprise and ZENworks provide a complete enterprise Linux solution that helps customers reduce cost, lower complexity and mitigate risk. The ZENworks component “zmd”, as well as its associated command line and graphic interface tools, remain available and supported for SUSE Linux Enterprise 10. Going forward, ZENworks Linux Management will remain Novell’s solution for enterprise-class resource management for desktops and servers.
We are currently designing SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, which is targeted to provide “interface-compatible” utilities to rug – the command-line interface that complements the ZENworks software management environment. openSUSE delivers most of this interface compatibility in its “zypp” environment. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 will also include the well known graphical interfaces for software management.