When they build it, SUSE will be ready

Field_of_DreamsSLES 12 Service Pack 3 for ARM is done. Now what?

SUSE has finished up SLES 12 Service Pack 3 and it is available to our customers. Inside SUSE, Service Pack 3 was labeled a “Consolidation” release. This type of release is intended to focus more on stability than on new features. This gives the Engineering team the opportunity to fix lower priority bugs and pay back technical debt introduced by new features in previous releases.  This is particularly true for legacy SUSE platforms like x86-64.

Service Pack 3 gave us the opportunity to make ARM a full member of the SUSE Linux family. We integrated ARM into the normal engineering and test environments that we already use for other platforms. I won’t bore you with all the details, but this infrastructure enablement is necessary for SUSE to provide the foundation for future success with ARM. Ultimately, we made the investments to complete this infrastructure work and ARM is now a regular hardware platform for SUSE Linux.

What’s happened with ARM servers since Service Pack 2

Last year, when SUSE became the first commercial Linux to support 64-bit ARM, we enabled a fairly limited set of ARM System on a Chip (SoC) processors for the server market. Of that group, only the Cavium ThunderX and Applied Micro XGene-2 systems had performance approaching what was needed for traditional server workloads. The other processors enabled in Service Pack 2 were better suited for niche and embedded workloads. But boy sure it is fun running SUSE Linux Enterprise on the Raspberry Pi!

We have seen a lot of changes in the ARM server industry, with some SoC vendors scaling back their investment in ARM server platforms and other vendors expanding their investment. We have also seen many vendors working on the second generation of ARM server processors – with enough potential performance to become a viable alternative the legacy systems in most data centers.

The first real appearance of prototype second generation ARM systems made their debut at the ISC high performance computing conference in Frankfurt in June. Having real hardware on the show floor made the rumors of impending ARM entry into the HPC market much more real. Hints about the expected performance of these systems piqued the interest of potential users. And some independent hardware vendors started revealing future systems based on the next generation of ARM server chips.

SUSE Linux enablement for the next generation of ARM server processors

There’s no question that the market is very interested in the next generation of ARM servers. SUSE has already done its part to enable these servers by including enablement for Cavium ThunderX2, Qualcomm Centriq 2400, MACOM/Applied Micro XGene-3, HiSilicon Hi1616, and other ARM processors in SLES 12 Service Pack 3.

SUSE and our ARM partners have been working a long time to enable enterprise deployments of 64-bit ARM servers, but now it’s a question of “when” rather than “if”.

The time for ARM servers is coming soon. SUSE Linux is ready today..

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Posted in ARM Processors, High Performance Computing, Information Technology, Open Source, SUSE Linux, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SAP HANA 2.0 now certified for SLES 12 Service Pack 2 on IBM POWER8

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SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 2 (SLES 12 SP2) for IBM POWER is now certified by SAP for SAP HANA 2.0

SLES 12 SP2 runs on IBM POWER8 hardware in little-endian mode (ppc64le).

Currently supported SAP HANA releases available for IBM POWER platform:

SAP HANA 1.0 on IBM POWER Servers (ppc64) big-endian

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications 11 SP4

SAP HANA 2.0 on IBM POWER Servers (ppc64le) little-endian

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications 12 SP1
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications 12 SP2

Full details are available in the SAP Note 2235581: SAP HANA Supported Operating Systems SAP Note: (SAP access required) https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2235581

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Transforming Your Business with SUSE Linux HPC at ISC 2017

suse_logo_gecko_lizard_with_name_Fractal_GearsWe are a little more than a week away from the International Super-computing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt, Germany and it’s clear that there will be a lot of SUSE HPC customers at this conference. This year’s ISC conference promises to accelerate the HPC transformation that started last year.

The transformation began with SUSE’s collaboration with Intel for HPC Orchestrator at the 2016 ISC Conference. Together, SUSE and Intel offered fully integrated joint support for this combined enterprise-grade solution. SUSE continued to collaborate with Intel by supporting HPC Orchestrator V2 and the Intel Omni-Path Architecture.

As a founding member of the OpenHPC community, SUSE is committed to helping accelerate the transformation of open source packages into a stable and flexible HPC software stack. SUSE partnered with ARM Ltd (a SoftBank company) and Cavium to provide the build and test infrastructure needed to deliver OpenHPC v1.3 for the 64-bit ARMv8 platform. This infrastructure, based on Cavium ThunderX hardware and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 12, is available for use by all members of the OpenHPC community.

SUSE is also helping to transform the 64-bit ARMv8 platform to an enterprise computing platform by being the first commercial Linux distributor to fully support ARM servers. These servers, built on chips from AMD, Applied Micro, Cavium, NXP, and Xilinx were fully supported as part of SLES 12 SP2, which was released in November 2016. SUSE is currently beta testing support for the next generation of ARMv8 processors from Cavium, Qualcomm, MACOM, HiSilicon, and other ARM partners that have great potential for future HPC environments.

Finally, SUSE has transformed its own HPC offering by creating a new HPC Module for SLES. The HPC Module is designed to provide more flexibility to support the rapid pace of innovation in the open-source HPC community. The HPC Module is a companion to SLES 12 for X86 and ARM platforms. The SLES 12 subscription includes support for HPC Module packages.

This year promises to be an even more exciting for SUSE as we deliver new support for emerging HPC trends, leveraging container technology, OpenStack Cloud, and data analytics.

Please visit SUSE at ISC Booth J-620 to learn how we can help you transform your business with HPC.

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SLES 12 High Performance Computing Module for ARM based systems is now available

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The High-Performance Computing Module (HPC Module) for SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLES) is now available for 64-bit ARM (AArch64) systems.

My colleague, Kai Dupke, stated in his blog Making HPC Adoption Easier that the goal of providing a select set of packages in the HPC Module instead of in the base SLES operating system is to more quickly respond to the rapidly evolving packages in the upstream community.

The HPC community is undergoing a rapid transformation to faster innovation and easier to install tools because of the open collaboration provided by the OpenHPC project. SUSE is a founding member of the OpenHPC community and has worked with OpenHPC and our partners to support OpenHPC for X86-64 and ARM-processor based systems.

In addition to traditional, scientific computing workloads, we are seeing many companies creating HPC environments for data analytics and other business-focused workloads. These companies do not have an extensive team to maintain those environments and have a need for commercial support for their HPC software.

This is where SUSE Linux Enterprise High Performance Computing Module can help. The packages included in the HPC Module are fully supported by SUSE under the base SUSE Linux Enterprise subscription.

Currently, the SLES 12 HPC Module includes these packages:

  • conman                      – 0.2.7
  • cpuid                           – 20151017 (X86-64 only)
  • hwloc                          – 1.11.5
  • lua-lmod                   – 6.5.11
  • lua-luafilesystem   – 1.6.3
  • lua-luaposix             – 33.2.1
  • lua-luaterm              – 0.7
  • memkind                   – 1.7.0 (X86-64 only)
  • mrsh                            – 2.12
  • munge                         – 0.5.12
  • pdsh                             – 2.31
  • powerman                  – 2.3.24
  • prun                             – 1.0
  • rasdaemon                 – 0.5.7
  • slurm                           – 16.5.8.1

The HPC Module is delivered as an add-on product to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. To install the HPC Module for SLES 12 SP2, follow these steps:

  1. Start YaST
  2. Select “Add-On Products
  3. Click “Add
  4. Select “Extensions & Modules from Registration Server
  5. Click “Next
  6. Select “HPC Module 12 SP2 aarch64
  7. Click “Next” to start the installation process.

We are still quite early in the history of the SLES HPC Module. Now that we have completed the initial mechanics of delivering the HPC Module for both X86-64 and 64-bit ARM architectures, we expect to be able to deliver additional packages and updated packages more rapidly than. was previously possible.

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More memory now available for SAP HANA on SLES 11 for POWER

sap_hana_scale

Many companies are now running their businesses with SAP HANA on IBM POWER servers. SUSE has seen huge increase in customer demand for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications 11 SP4 since it became available in August 2015.

SAP HANA is an ideal workload for IBM POWER server due to the performance, reliability and scalability features provided by Power Systems servers. SAP HANA customers were able to boost their performance, save time on deployments and protect critical business operations with built-in business continuity capabilities by using POWER system with SLES for SAP Applications 11 SP4.

As our customers scaled up their SAP HANA environments, they found that they needed support for very large physical memory configurations in an LPAR (VM), beyond the 1.5TB supported by SLES 11.

Technically, this was a challenging problem. Expanding memory beyond 1.5TB would require changing the SLES 11 kernel page table structure impacting kernel ABIs. These changes could negatively affect compatibility for applications that use the kernel ABI. Retesting all existing applications would be impractical for a mature operating system like SLES 11 that first became available in 2009.

Fortunately, the product and engineering teams at SUSE were able to come up with an approach that preserved compatibility for existing SLES 11 customers while enabling very large memory support for SAP HANA on POWER. The solution was the introduction of an additional, “Bigmem” kernel.

The Bigmem kernel (kernel-bigmem) is an additional Linux kernel available for SLES for SAP Applications 11 SP4 customers through the maintenance channel. The Bigmem kernel is modified to provide support for up to 32TB on IBM POWER. Customers using SAP HANA can optionally use the BIgmem kernel to support any size memory up to 32TB. Customers who are using SLES 11 for workloads other than SAP HANA will continue to use the standard kernel. Moving forward, both kernels will be supported by SUSE on SLES for SAP Applications 11 SP4.

The Bigmem kernel also increases the number of threads supported by SLES for SAP Applications 11. This is required for systems that have more than 1024 logical CPUs such as an IBM Power System E880 configured with 192 physical CPU core with SMT8, resulting in 1536 logical CPU threads.

IBM, SAP and SUSE have rigorously tested the Bigmem kernel with SAP HANA for several months and the official certification is available. The recommended patch list can be found at https://download.suse.com/Download?buildid=abdTREGeaIw~

Note that the Bigmem kernel is not supported for applications other than SAP HANA.

Also, note that clients implementing SAP HANA on SLES for SAP Applications 12 do not need the Bigmem kernel because the base kernel in SLES 12 already supports up to 32 TB of memory.

For more information, see:

Jay Kruemcke

Product manager for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for POWER

jayk@suse.com

SAP_HANA_Scale_wide.png

 

 

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SUSE Enterprise Storage 4 is now available for X86 and ARM systems

suse_enterprise_storage

SUSE Enterprise Storage version 4 is now available. SUSE Enterprise Storage is the Software Defined Storage market leader and adds significant new capabilities in this release including:

  • Unified Block, File and Object storage with the addition of CephFS
  • New support for 64-bit ARM hardware based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 for ARM
  • Advanced graphical storage management based on openATTIC
  • Long distance block storage and multisite object storage replication
  • Tech preview support of NFS Ganesha support

More details at https://www.suse.com/communities/blog/4-go-suse-enterprise-storage-4-goes-ga/

Posted in ARM Processors, Cloud, Open Source, Software Defined Storage, SUSE Linux, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SUSE partners with ARM, Cavium and OpenHPC to deliver OpenHPC High Performance Computing Infrastructure for ARM

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SUSE has partnered with Cavium Inc., OpenHPC, and ARM Ltd., a SoftBank company, to cultivate the High Performance Computing system software stack for systems based on the 64-bit ARM AArch64 processors.

Together, these partners have established an OpenHPC build, integration, and developer access service built on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server running on Cavium ThunderX© 64-bit ARM systems. These systems, currently in Tech Preview, were installed at the Texas Advanced Computing Center in Austin TX (TACC). When completely functional, this OpenHPC service will provide the complete infrastructure needed to support development of high performance solutions based on ARM processor-based systems.

SUSE also intends to provide commercial support for a subset of the OpenHPC stack as part of the HPC module that will be delivered in the future as part of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 for ARM. SUSE uses modules to speed delivery of packages more quickly than the traditional enterprise software delivery model. The SLES for ARM HPC module will contain a prioritized group of packages required for many HPC workloads. The goal is to expand the number of packages included in the HPC module over time. Clients can benefit from open source innovation while having the peace of mind of an integrated and validated stack of HPC software with SUSE support.

SUSE is also providing early access to OpenHPC components and other packages as part of the  Package Hub at https://packagehub.suse.com/

ARM has announced the availability of OpenHPC V1.2 on ARM in anticipation of the Super Computing 16 conference November 14th in Salt Lake City Utah.  https://community.arm.com/groups/arm-development-platforms/blog/2016/11/10/constructing-the-pillars-of-the-arm-hpc-ecosystem

The OpenHPC build, integration, and developer access service for ARM is currently available as a technology preview. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for ARM is available now as a fully supported product. The HPC module for SLES for ARM will be available at a later date.

For more about SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for ARM, see https://www.suse.com/products/arm/

For information on the SUSE ARM partner program see https://www.suse.com/pa

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