SUSE SolidDriver Program

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Introduction

In today’s fast-paced world of technology, organizations are constantly deploying new hardware into their data centers. Using new hardware often requires installing new, vendor-delivered kernel drivers, which causes anxiety for many customers.

Whether it’s uncertainty around having the right driver for the right installation, understanding preconditions and knowledge are required for proper installation, ensuring backing by the hardware and OS vendors when support is required, or trust in deploying sensitive kernel code into a business critical environment, there are good reasons for customers to be concerned about installing third party delivered kernel modules.

At SUSE we understand the need to leverage new technology, as well as the requirements to install third party delivered kernel drivers to do so. At the same time we can identify with customer concerns when installing what are essentially components of the OS kernel provided by vendors other than SUSE.

SUSE has a long history of providing an enterprise level operating system software and has over time established many practices that make the installation and maintenance of the OS comfortable and dependable for customers.

The SUSE SolidDriver Program leverages that expertise to create a set of standards that facilitate third parties to provide kernel drivers in a uniform, consistent, proven and compatible manner that gives end users ease and confidence in identifying, installing, and using them in their SUSE Linux Enterprise environments.

This document describes in detail the goals and methods provided by the SUSE SolidDriver Program that benefit SUSE partners and customers alike.

Structure of This Document

This document begins by giving a quick overview or kernel modules (drivers), how they are used, and the way they work. Following that, a brief overview of the Kernel Modules delivered with SUSE Linux Enterprise kernels is given just before delving into the topic of Third Party Kernel Modules . At this point the benefits and risks of installing kernel drivers should be clear and sets us up for a description of the SUSE SolidDriver Program.

The later sections of the document introduces the Goals of the SUSE SolidDriver Program of the SolidDriver Program, outlines some of the standards it establishes, and finally goes into detail about how all of this How It Works .

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