This morning, Novell introduced three developments calculated to appeal to its Wall Street audience at the SIFMA show. First, the company says it will have a maintenance release for Suse Linux Enterprise Real-Time (affectionately referred to by company executives as SLERT) ready in early July. SLERT is an add-in to Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise 10 open source operating system that is said to provide real-time performance for certain processes. According to Novell, SLERT provides predictable interrupt response time of less than 30 microseconds, high-resolution timer support for enhanced scheduling, user-level control of simultaneous multithreading, and processor shielding. The July maintenance update will inherit the improvements delivered with the recently launched Service Pack 1 for SUSE Linux Enterprise, including new high availability storage and processor support. The update will also incorporate support for the latest open source InfiniBand software stack, Open Fabrics Enterprise Distribution 1.2, an emerging industry standard for server and storage connectivity.Second, Novell has completed integration with Voltaire's Grid Backbone InfiniBand network switches to offer a combined, high-speed platform.
Third, Novell has partnered with Concurrent Computer Corp., the company that co-created SLERT, to make Concurrent's NightStar analysis and debugging software work on SLERT, to detect and fix any causes of latency or bottlenecks in the operating system. "One challenge for companies is they don't know where latency is occurring," says Matthias Nagorni, product manager at Novell. Not only can the NightStar trace tool help IT staff perceive slowdowns in the operating system, it can help developers spot problems in home-grown programs that may be causing data latency.
Novell also says the next generation of SLERT, which is currently in development, will focus on further improving latency and performance, not only for applications with relatively fewer threads that can be prioritized and shielded, but also for massively threaded applications with low latency requirements, such as real time Java messaging. It will capitalize on the innovations in real-time computing being developed in the open source community, including, among other things, work on kernel locking optimizations (to reduce busy wait), priority inheritance, execution of interrupts in kernel threads with definable priority and high resolution timers that improve synchronization and process accounting. Companies interested in testing the next generation of SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time and providing feedback that will help shape its ongoing development can apply today for the beta program at http://www.novell.com/beta/auth/request_form.jsp.