Oh, the joys of administrating Novell systems. In SLES 10 they are still using rug to manage the package repositories. Investigating a deadlock while upgrading from SLES 10 SP2 to SP3 I discovered this error message, written in fancy engrish:

# rug refresh
ERROR: A Refresh request already Running.
This Refresh is Ignored.
Please Try After Sometime.

I think this is maybe related to Novell's strategy to change their remote package downloader every month or so (you,rug,yum,zypper,...) while still maintaining their high level of crappiness.

In the end i had to "kill -9" the zmd process to advance with the update. One day, I swear to you Novell, I'm gonna replace all this immanently broken SLES installations with Debian!