Availability of SLES10 SP4 for Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 (OES2) customers

  • 7008364
  • 13-Apr-2011
  • 27-May-2012

Environment

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Service Pack 3
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Service Pack 4
Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 (OES 2) Linux Support Pack 2
Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 (OES 2) Linux Support Pack 3
ZENworks 11 Linux Package Management

Situation

Background

On April 15th, 2011, Novell announced the immediate availability of SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 Service Pack 4 (SP4), bundling all previously released patches, fixes and updates for SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 (SLES 10).

At that present time, this new availability had implications to customers running Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 (OES2) on SLES10SP3, since all existing OES2 services that were support on SLES10 SP3 at that time, were all required to be re-tested and re-certified against the latest and greatest SLES10 SP4 code base.

What does this mean practically ?

Between April 15th and September 9th 2011, the various compatibility & QA testing as well as the certification processes were finalized, and solutions to any encountered problems were implemented.

During the above mentioned time-frame, SLES10 SP4 was to be considered an unsupported platform to run Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 (OES2) as Add-on product on. As such, during this validation period, Novell had put mechanisms in place to prevent the upgrade of the core SLES 10 SP3 Operating System to SLES 10 SP4 as that would break the support for OES2.

The upgrade mechanisms above referred to are :

using YaST for patch management :

The "move-to-sles10-sp4" patch would show up as available software update to customers  running both SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Service Pack 3 with Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 (OES 2) Linux Support Pack 2 -or- Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 (OES 2) Linux Support Pack 3.

The "move-to-sles10-sp4" patch is effectively a script that checks for a number of prerequisites before executing the script.

using ZENworks 11 Linux Package Management :

In the default configuration, ZENworks 11 Linux Package Management will mirror all patches that are available on https://nu.novell.com. The problem is that ZENworks 11 Linux Package Management can only process rpm's but cannot handle any scripts.

Since the warning/conflict messages that were put in place as part of applying the "move-to-sles10-sp4" patch (as said, which effectively is a script), ZCM could not handle this condition and thus the "move-to-sles10-sp4" upgrade would silently be executed without any additional warnings.
To prevent this from happening to a production server, a number of additional precautionary configuration actions would need to be made to the ZLM configuration.

Resolution

As of September 9th 2011, Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 Support Pack 3 is officially and fully supported to run on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Support Pack 4.

The "move-to-sles10-sp4" patch has been modified to detect the presence of Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 Support Pack 3 as Add-on product, and allows SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Support Pack 3 servers running Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 Support Pack 3 servers to be safely upgraded to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Support Pack 4.

This allows customers a proper upgrade path to latest available supported code base for both the SLES and OES2 products.

Note: For the official life-cycle statements of the SLES or OES products respectively, please follow the links in the Additional Information section below.

Additional Information

Important note :
Customers running SLES10SP3 / OES2 SP2 will not(!) be able to execute the "move-to-sles10-sp4" patch directly.

Novell will continue to support OES2 SP2 on top of SLES10 SP3 until the end of 2011 (which is 12 months after OES2 SP3 shipping date) and aligned with the Novell Open Enterprise Server support pack policy.
Specific details on the Novell Open Enterprise Server Support pack policy can be found here.

When customers with such a configuration are than willing or required to move to SLES10 SP4 to stay aligned with either of the product support models, they can than simply execute the  move-to-oes2-sp3 patch to upgrade SLES10 SP3 + OES2 SP2 to SLES10 SP4 + OES2 SP3.


As per September 9th 2011, with the official OES2 support for SLES10 SP4 announced to our customers, the SLES10 / OES2 support and upgrade matrix shows as follows :

As (new) installations  :
  • SLES10 SP3 + OES2 SP2 = supported 
  • SLES10 SP3 + OES2 SP3 = supported 
  • SLES10 SP4 + OES2 SP2 = not(!) supported
  • SLES10 SP4 + OES2 SP3 = supported
As upgrades :
  • SLES10 SP3 + OES2 SP2  to  SLES10 SP4 + OES2 SP2 = not supported(!)
  • SLES10 SP3 + OES2 SP2  to  SLES10 SP4 + OES2 SP3 = supported (when using the OES move-to patch)
  • SLES10 SP3 + OES2 SP2  [*]to  SLES10 SP4 + OES2 SP3 = supported (when using the OES move-to patch)
  • SLES10 SP3 + OES2 SP3   to  SLES10 SP4 + OES2 SP3 = supported (when using the SLES move-to patch)
  • SLES10 SP3 + OES2 SP3 [**] to  SLES10 SP4 + OES2 SP3 = supported (when using the SLES move-to patch)
[*] also supported where OES2 SP2 this environment was previously upgraded from SLES10 SP2 + OES2 SP1 to SLES10 SP3 + OES2 SP2.
[**] also supported where OES2 SP3 in this environment was previously upgraded from OES2 SP2. or any other supported migration and upgrade path as described in Novell's official collateral.

Disclaimer :
All of the above-referenced software combinations for both new installations as well as their supported upgrade paths were valid at the time this document was written.

Supported software deployments and/or upgrade paths for both SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Novell Open Enterprise Server may change, since support policies are bound by the general product support offering for their respective products.

The details on Novell's current general product support offerings and Frequently Asked Questions are publicly available for customers to view at https://support.novell.com/lifecycle/.

Feedback service temporarily unavailable. For content questions or problems, please contact Support.