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Before Suse 11 Novell provides a minimum of five years General Support for platform and operating system products,
including its revisions, starting with the date of a product's general availability. When General Support ends, Novell will offer extended support for up to 10 years total. That means that the total lifespan is now 10 years.

Suse 10  general support ended Jul 31, 2013. Suse 11 has general support till Mar 31, 2016

Visit Novell Support Lifecycle for more information. Link http://support.novell.com/lifecycle/

Novell split the life cycle into three stages:

  1. general support (gs) - bug fixes, security patches and enhancements of the product are available, a service packs may be released and a customer may request an installation or configuration support. It is provided for five years at least.
  2. extended support (es) - only the most critical bugs are fixed if the bug is considered appropriate and strategic, security patches are always available. It is provided for the total lifespan of 10 years (at least two years after gs end)
  3. self-support (ss) - like knowledge base or discussion forums are available during the all stages until the product end.
Exact date of end of  general support can be found at NOVELL Product Support Lifecycle:
  1. SLES 9 - released in 2004,
  2. SLES 10 - released in 2006
  3. SLES 11 released in 2009 (shipped Mar 24, 2009). 

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[Feb 28, 2012] Red Hat vs. Oracle Linux Support 10 Years Is New Standard

The VAR Guy

The support showdown started a couple of weeks ago, when Red Hat extended the life cycle of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) versions 5 and 6 from the norm of seven years to a new standard of 10 years. A few days later, Oracle responded by extending Oracle Linux life cycles to 10 years.

Side note: It sounds like SUSE, now owned by Attachmate, also offers extended Linux support of up to 10 years.

[May 19, 2011] SLES 11 end of general support is 31 Mar 2019

So Suse (with extended support for which you need to pay more) now promises 10 years lifespan. See Release Notes for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
Note: version numbers do not necessarily give the final patch and security status of an application, as Novell may have added additional patches to the specific version of an application. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP 1 Service Pack 1 includes KVM, and supports over 500 additional chipsets, networking and storage devices, further expanding your options. It runs on the latest x86 hardware, and is designed to support even next-generation processors from Intel and AMD. This gives you maximum choice, both today and in the future.

With the release of Service Pack 1, we're announcing enhancements to our Partner Linux Driver Program. New tools, specifications and partner benefits make it easier for our partners to bring to market, support and maintain their third-party technology together with SUSE Linux Enterprise.

[May 19, 2011] NOVELL Downloads - SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1 for VMware

IMPORTANT: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1 for VMware is intended for use by customers running VMware vSphere and its subscriptions and support are sold only by VMware and its partners.
For more information visit http://www.vmware.com/go/slesforvmware.

SLES-11-SP1-for-VMware-DVD-i586-GM-DVD1.iso 2.6 GB (2831220736)
SLES-11-SP1-for-VMware-DVD-i586-GM-DVD2.iso 4.2 GB (4551493632)
SLES-11-SP1-for-VMware-DVD-x86_64-GM-DVD1.iso 2.7 GB (2971582464)
SLES-11-SP1-for-VMware-DVD-x86_64-GM-DVD2.iso 4.2 GB (4551325696)

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