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32-bit VMware-tuned version of SLES should theoretically be considerably faster, close to speed to para-virtualization solutions. So in general it does not make sense to use stock Novell 32-bit version of SLES. Also it makes sense to convert existing instances to SLES 11 SP1. The problem is that VMware changes $600 for support. Also paravirtualization works only with 32-bit kernels. But due to Novell-VMware partnership  you can run one SLES guest (and get patches) per qualified VMware vSphere SKU without paying anything either to Novell or VMware if you are vSphere customer . Some Internet sources distribute rumors (as of September 10, 2010) that  you can run an unlimited number of SLES virtual machines and receive all necessary patches and updates for free. (http://www.vcritical.com/2010/09/sles-for-vmware-first-look/ ) :

Last week VMware announced the availability of SLES for VMware, a world-class Linux distribution based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1.  The arrangement allows qualifying VMware vSphere customers to run an unlimited number of SLES virtual machines and receive all necessary patches and updates for free.  Technical support can optionally be purchased and provided by VMware Global Support Services (GSS).

But this is not true. One one guest per SKU. Here are the terms (from VMware and Novell Expand Strategic Partnership to Deliver and Support SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server for VMware vSphere™ Environments) :

In order to run SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for VMware and a subscription to patches and updates at no additional cost, you must own qualifying and active VMware vSphere SnS contracts and run vSphere 4.0 U2 or later. Read the complete terms and conditions. With SLES for VMware, you also have the option to purchase phone technical support services delivered directly by VMware.

Terms and Conditions

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for VMware FAQs

Customers will benefit from:

ISV partners will benefit from:

What are qualified customers getting with this offer? 
With this VMware offer, qualified customers are entitled to receive access to the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware operating system and a subscription to patches and updates at no additional cost.

What are the conditions to qualify for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware?

For more details, please read terms & conditions and the list of qualified vSphere SKUs.

What is SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware?
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware is a version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (currently, version 11 Service Pack 1) that runs on VMware vSphere. Existing and future ISV certifications for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server will be also valid for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware. With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware, qualified VMware customers with active vSphere Support and Subscription will receive a subscription to patches and updates at no additional cost.

Can customers still run the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server version sold by Novell on VMware vSphere?
Yes, VMware fully supports SUSE Linux Enterprise Server sold by Novell. Customers can continue to deploy Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in their VMware vSphere environments should they decide to so. Read the VMware Compatibility Guide to learn about which version of Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server are supported in VMware vSphere.

Do customers with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscriptions need to renew their subscriptions, or can they now receive subscriptions from VMware at no additional cost?
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server customers should renew their subscriptions as usual in order to continue receiving maintenance and support, unless otherwise notified by Novell or VMware in the future.

How many SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware subscriptions will customers receive?
VMware customers will receive
one subscription to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware per vSphere license.

What is the duration of the subscription for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware?
Each SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware subscription is valid for the term of the associated vSphere SnS contract.

Will applications supported on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server be supported on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware?
Yes, existing and future ISV certifications for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server will be also valid for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server currently has more than 6,000 certified applications.

Is SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware available on x86 and x86-64 platforms?
Yes, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware is available for both x86 and x86-64.

When will SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware be generally available?
VMware has made SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware generally available on September 1st 2010.

How can customers determine if they are entitled to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware

Is phone technical support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware included with vSphere SnS?
No. Being active on vSphere SnS is a requirement to qualify for the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware subscription, but vSphere SnS does not include technical support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware. On September 1st 2010, VMware also announced the technical support options available for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware at an additional cost.

Who will deliver technical support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware: VMware or Novell?
VMware will be delivering technical support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware.

Will VMware’s Reseller Partners be able to resell VMware’s technical support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware?
Yes, VMware Reseller Partners will be able to resell VMware’s technical support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware.

Is there any limit to the number of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware virtual machines I can run on a qualified vSphere host?
There is no limit. Customers can run an unlimited number of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware virtual machines per qualified vSphere host. Please refer to the terms & conditions for further details.

Is there any limit to the number of vCPUs I can configure to a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware virtual machine?
Customers can configure as many vCPUs in a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware virtual machine as entitled by their vSphere Edition.

Can I use VMware VMotion to move virtual machines running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware as a guest operating system to any vSphere host?
Yes. Customers can use VMware VMotion to migrate virtual machines running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware among any qualified vSphere hosts. Please read the terms & conditions for further details.

Will customers be able to run SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware on versions of VMware virtualization platform preceding vSphere 4?
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1, which is officially supported only on vSphere 4.0 U2 or higher versions.

Is this an exclusive agreement for either Novell or VMware?
No.

Why did VMware choose to expand our relationship with Novell?
Novell and VMware have a strategic partnership and have collaborated to enhance and optimize SUSE Linux Enterprise Server to run on VMware virtual environments. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is an industry proven operating system with broad application support. With this expanded partnership, VMware and Novell will bring additional benefits to customers by lowering cost, and streamlining support.

Will VMware continue to support other operating systems?
This offering does not mark any change in VMware’s long-standing strategy of operating system neutrality. Our commitment to provide the greatest flexibility and freedom of choice for guest operating systems and other IT infrastructure components remains unchanged. Today, VMware vSphere supports more than 60 different versions of operating systems, by far the largest number among any virtualization platform. VMware vSphere customers can confidently continue to choose the guest operating system that best fits their needs.

Does this mean that SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is integrated into the VMware vSphere platform, or are they separate?
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware is not integrated into vSphere; it is a stand-alone product. Separation between virtualization platform and operating system is still a central element of our technology strategy for our hypervisor architecture. Unlike other virtualization vendors, VMware firmly believes that a virtualization platform should not be part of a general purpose operating system.

How can I get additional information about the VMware and Novell partnership?
Find out more about VMware and Novell virtualization solutions.


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[Jun 05, 2011] VMware KB Enabling VMI with SLES10 SP2 32bit virtual machines on ESX

VMI can only be enabled on the 32bit version of SLES10 SP2
Jan 27, 2011

To enable VMI on SLES10 SP2 32bit virtual machines:

Note: VMI can only be enabled on the 32bit version of SLES10 SP2. To enable VMI, the virtual machine must have an Internet connection to Novell's software update servers.

  1. Open a console window to the SLES10 SP2 32bit virtual machine.
  2. Shutdown the SLES10 SP2 32bit virtual machine if it is running.
  3. Click VM > Edit Settings menu in the console window.
  4. Click the Options tab and click Paravirtualization.
  5. Select Support VMI Paravirtualization. For more information about enabling this feature, see the Enabling VMI in VMware ESX 3.5 section from Enabling Virtual Machine Interface (VMI) in a Linux kernel and in ESX 3.5 (1003644).
  6. Click OK.
  7. Start the SLES10 SP2 32bit virtual machine.
  8. Log in to the SLES10 SP2 32bit virtual machine as root.
  9. Open a terminal, and execute the lspci command.
  10. Ensure the Memory Controller, VMware Inc Virtual Machine Interface, exists in the lspci output.
  11. Run the yast2 command to start YaST Control Center.
  12. Choose Novell Customer Center Configuration and register the SLES10 SP2 virtual machine with Novell.
  13. Run Software Management in the YaST Control Center after successfully registering the SLES10 SP2 virtual machine with Novell.
  14. In the Filter drop box, choose Search.
  15. In the Search box, enter "kernel-vmi" and click Search.
  16. Select the kernel-vmi/VMI-enabled kernel package for installation and click Accept to install the SLES10 SP2 VMI kernel. Do not choose the kernel-vmipae package unless you have a 32bit Intel processor and more than 4GB of RAM.
  17. Accept any dependency updates if necessary.
  18. After the kernel-vmi package is installed, close the YaST Control Center and restart the SLES10 SP2 32bit virtual machine.
  19. At the grub boot screen, choose the new SLES10 SP2 VMI kernel.
  20. After the SLES10 SP2 32bit virtual machine boots, open the console and run the dmesg | grep VMI command.
  21. Verify that the following lines exist:

    Detected VMI ROM version 3.0
    VMI Timer active

[Jun 05, 2011] VMware Communities Support VMI Paravirtualization - not...

Jul 17, 2008

Re: Support VMI Paravirtualization - not working on RC1 azmir wrote:Ed, Just specific Linux distros - I believe just Ubuntu 7.10 and 8.04 support paravirt. None of the Windows OS are supported

Yep, Ubuntu 7.10, and 8.04, and SLES10 SP2 (i.e. SuSE Enterprise Linux 10 SP2). All 32-bit only. Turns out there's no point for VMI for 64-bit Linux guests since it doesn't provide much of a performance boost due to a fortunate confluence of factors.

[Jun 05, 2011] Suse Linux kernel patch boosts VMWare efficiency

The first working release is SLES 11 SP1. They change $600 per year just for patches. See VMware Online Store - Buy VMware SUSE Support, Linux Phone Support

Suse Linux kernel patch boosts VMWare efficiency Novell offers better interoperablity for virtual machines By John Fontana | Published: 10:17 GMT, 17 June 08

Related Content News Acer to cut 300 jobs in European operation Google claims phishers stole emails from politicians, activist Oracle gives Apache the OpenOffice.org codebase Features How is your ERP? Channelling the White Stuff Barclays partners with IBM for private cloud project Opinion and Debate CIO view: Is the cloud just marketing hype? The emperor's new clothes and other stories Cutting through the cloud The missing link in data quality Novell has released updates to its Suse Linux kernel designed to make the operating system more efficient when running on top of VMware environments.

The upgrade to the Suse Linux Enterprise kernel lets it take advantage of paravirtualisation techniques so it runs more efficiently as a guest operating system.

Novell has built in support for VMware's Virtual Machine Interface (VMI). "The patch to the kernel provides increased performance and better interoperability," said Carlos Montero-Luque, vice president of product management for open platform solutions at Novell.

The kernel patch is available in Suse Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 10 Service Pack 2, which can be downloaded.

In a paravirtualised environment the guest operating system is modified to work more closely with the underlying hardware and not just with the virtualised environment. It is one of a handful of variants for designing virtual machine environments.

In order to take advantage of paravirtualisation, however, an operating system must be specifically ported to run on top of a host system. Novell and VMware have been working on the Suse upgrades for the past nine months.

Novell also has a kernel patch to support paravirtualisation of SLES on the Xen hypervisor that SLES uses when it is serving as a host environment.

Login | Register Subscribe to our newslettersRegistration is free, and gives you full access to our extensive white paper library, case studies & analysis, downloads & speciality areas, and more.Sign up to our newsletters and get up to date articles directly to your inbox. Get the latest, breaking IT news, our most read articles, expert insight and latest white papers. In addition, Novell has been working with Microsoft in a lab the two opened last September to ensure SLES runs in a paravirtualised mode on top of Windows Hyper-V, which is slated to ship later this summer. The two are also ensuring Windows Server 2008 runs in enlightened mode on top of Novell's Xen hypervisor. Enlightened mode is a Microsoft technology that allows the server to recognise when it is running on top of a hypervisor and then automatically take different avenues to access memory management and IO.

"Regardless of the different environments - VMware or Hyper-V - we want SLES to be the best supported, best performing guest operating system," Montero-Luque says."We expect to see mixed environments in the future for a number of reasons and interoperability has been a key part of our strategy."

[May 20, 2011] SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1 for VMware

In other words standard distribution SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1 includes VMware friendly kernel and the installer is able to recognize the installation under VMware and use this kernel.
NOVELL

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.

If you have obtained a subscription for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell, that subscription does not provide the right to use SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware, nor does it provide access to patches, maintenance, or support for SLES for VMware.

If you are a Novell customer, please download the standard SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1 from http://download.novell.com.

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Cooperative Linux is the first working free and open source method for optimally running Linux on Microsoft Windows natively. More generally, Cooperative Linux (short-named coLinux) is a port of the Linux kernel that allows it to run cooperatively alongside another operating system on a single machine. For instance, it allows one to freely run Linux on Windows 2000/XP, without using a commercial PC virtualization software such as VMware, in a way which is much more optimal than using any general purpose PC virtualization software. In its current condition, it allows us to run the KNOPPIX Japanese Edition on Windows (see Screenshots).



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