Submitted by zubanst on Sun, 09/20/2020 - 09:05

Two names stand out when it comes to Enterprise Linux Sever market: Red Hat with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and SuSE, offering SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)

Both support ARM64, x86-32, x86-64 and Power Architecture, and they are both suited for servers, mainframes, and workstations, both have HA configurations and long support lifecycle of 10 years or more

Tools like YaST are the reason why SLES is known to have a less steep initial learning curved compared with RHEL, but then, both serve the enterprise market well, which means:

Both have powerful System Management (Life Cycle,Patch& Asset Management….), both support Live kernel patching, automated mass deployment and many more; maybe cost models are something one must check carefully for opportunities with SuSE

Yet, SuSE has native support and optimization for SAP S/4HANA

So what if one migrated its large RedHat based IT infrastructure to SuSE?

Well this would be consistent with the EU policies of the Commission wouldn’t it? It would be a symbol and a major shift of support toward EU software publishers

But is it possible? Are ones applications and middleware compatible allowing just a smooth migration?

To answer the question, I took 5 use cases and created 5 VMware appliances:

  • A LAMP stack on SLES 15.2 with the latest component versions
  • A Tomcat application server on SLES 15.2
  • A WebLogic application server on SLES 15.2
  • An Oracle 19c database server on SLES 15.2


  • A Docker and Kubernetes container on SLES 15.2

The 5 VMware appliances are up and running

Although the impact of the migration might seem huge if ever decided, this is not completely accurate; all the middleware remains the same, which shows very limited impact considering that this part represents 80 percent of the workload

One should take the step, thorough test are necessary and if ever decided, 2 main migration paths come to mind:

•Active migration, which means migrating all the instances based on a specific migration plan

•Passive migration, which means migrating instances progressively when their current OS version or middleware version become obsolete; this includes the fact that all new IS creation is based on SLES; this path might be what we call 'err on the side of caution'

Should you want take the step, want a proof of concept, have one of the appliances, or just have more details, just contact our office