SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, currently with Service Pack 4, has been the standard SAP operating system for many years. Even today, the majority of SAP and SAP HANA systems are operated on a SUSE basis. On March 31, however, standard support for version 11 finally came to an end.
What the end of standard support means
Systems and applications will of course remain operational. But SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 hasn't qualified as a platform for the latest applications for a long time. On top of that, patches, support, and especially security fixes from SUSE will now only be forthcoming if you are willing to pay the significant additional costs for a long term service pack support (LTSS) contract. This should be reason enough for most companies to plan a migration to a newer version.
In addition, there are a number of technical reasons for not postponing this step for too long. Typically, current standards are only partially implemented or not implemented at all in older versions. In SUSE 11, for example, the implementation of the TLS 1.2 encryption protocol is not directly possible because of the old OpenSSL library.
Allow sufficient time for preparations
Consequently, mission-critical applications should be converted to a current and supported state rather sooner than later. There are many scenarios for the implementation of such an upgrade. The classic rebuilding of a basic system, combined with a relocation of applications, is a frequently used method. Alternatively, time constraints or the complexity of the overall system may lead to a migration to a new version.
SUSE considered its loyal clientele at an early stage by integrating and documenting the corresponding migration tools in SUSE 12, as well as in SUSE 15 (which is already available). While a well-functioning migration tool is very valuable, the experienced system administrator knows that there is usually much more required. The migration of critical systems needs to be well planned and supported with a proper fallback scenario, as well as checked for all possible contingencies and interfaces. Often, in addition to the actual main application, a multitude of support tools have to be checked for compatibility with the new operating system version, and perhaps some new functions are also to be introduced. Therefore, sufficient time must be allowed for preparations.
Bringing in specialists may make sense
So if you want to use your holiday weekends in May for system migrations, you should start planning now. Considering the situation, it may make sense to call in a specialist with relevant experience in order to optimize your preparation time.
UMB can draw on comprehensive project expertise for Linux and Unix platform migrations, which we also offer as services. Do not hesitate to contact us. Our specialists will be happy to advise you.