SLES v Opensuse

Hi Everyone,

Since I was last on here my job has changed and I am responble for sites of new machines. However the licensing was a bit of a mess. If I was to put SLES onto all the servers I want to, I am looking at a bill of around £40-45,000 per annum.

I am therefore thinking about OpenSuse. We have enterprise support from a highly respected 3rd line vendor for both SLES/Opensuse.

So my question is really, why should I choose SLES when I can support OpenSuse at very little additional cost.

I am not wanting to start a flame war or anything, it is just a legitimate question.

Yes, why indeed. To some organisations that might not be a figure to worry about but it may to you. Perhaps you can get a better deal from an independent provider. Or do your own support. The answer depends on your situation. You probably know this, but remember that SLES is more conservative with an emphasis on stability and lags a little. My personal experience is that OpenSUSE has in the past sent out patches that broke working setups, not deliberately, but because keeping current was more important in OpenSUSE than maintaining continuity. It was to do with the OCFS packages if you want to know. I ended having to update all members of a cluster at the same time because the new packages used a newer incompatible heartbeat protocol.

There’s another thing to remember and that is the support period for enterprise distros is longer. That means Novell will do heroic things to backpatch software to keep it running on that version up to end of support. With OpenSUSE, after two years, if you find a bug in the software, the answer will be, too bad, please upgrade.

Another thing to keep in mind is software vendor support. I doubt you’ll find third party apps like Lotus Domino or Oracle being supported on Opensuse. They are supported on SLES though.


You may also wish to look at virtualization of some of the servers to
run less critical applications?

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 11.0 x86 Kernel
up 2 days 4:20, 3 users, load average: 0.09, 0.38, 0.35
GPU GeForce 6600 TE/6200 TE - Driver Version: 177.82

Have you looked at the official Novell page ?
There is an interesting “Compare” page between SLES, RHEL, Windows Server and… openSUSE !

Compare Linux Servers: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Comparisons