Kernel Modules in SUSE Linux Enterprise
The kernel delivered with SUSE Linux Enterprise products is compiled with many of the components built as modules. This allows for the flexibility as mentioned in the [previous section] Today, the SUSE kernels contain around 1800 modules in total, but since these modules are loaded as required based on functional needs of the end user, only a small portion of the total will be loaded at any given time. A typical server installation will have around 100 or even fewer modules loaded.
The ability to load parts of the kernel as needed allows SUSE Linux Enterprise to support a wide range of systems from notebooks to supercomputers. It also allows to support a range of file systems and I/O stacks which provides for suitability with diverse workloads.
The fact that SUSE provides kernels split into modules permits particular modules to be updated when needed to support new technology as is typically done when supporting new hardware releases. These driver updates are typically developed and provided by the hardware vendors that produce and sell the hardware products themselves. It’s the existence, and use of drivers from these third party vendors that is the primary motivation for the SUSE SolidDriver Program which will be covered in the following sections.