Novell Attracts Software Support for Linux Ecosystem

Novell is on the move with its Linux enterprise strategy with a series of announcements that began last week with the release of its Open Enterprise Server (OES) product. The company has since released details about its ZENworks 7 Linux management line, and several other vendors are also launching software to support Novell’s Netware platform.

It all started last week with OES, a suite of services that combines NetWare and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server to deliver file, print, directory, management, collaboration and application services. That’s when Novell chairman and CEO Jack Messman took the opportunity to tell the world how committed his company is to listening to customers.

“Open Enterprise Server protects the prior investment that customers made in NetWare and extends to them the freedom and flexibility of Linux,” Messman said. “Only Novell is offering software from both the open source and commercial spectrums to allow customers the flexibility of choice which provides them real economic value through lower costs.”

Big Claims

Those two words — “only Novell” — represent a big claim that company executives hope will echo in the ears of large enterprises. So far, Volvo Construction Equipment in North America and Westdeutscher Rundfunk, the largest public broadcasting company in Germany, are on board with OES and touting its benefits to other companies.

Of course, if Novell expects to penetrate the enterprise at a deeper level, then it will need other software vendors to support its programs. That’s why analysts said recent announcements from SSH Communications Security Corp. and Opsware Automation are key to Novell’s Linux success.

“What’s really going to be important for Linux to take the next step is to essentially offer a seamless management experience — being able to tie all of these Linux machines together and manage them effectively,” Steve O’Grady of research firm Red Monk told LinuxInsider. “It’s not enough if these individual nodes are capable if you can’t manage them en masse effectively.”

Utility Computing

Opsware announced a solution to deliver automation capabilities designed to reduce the cost of managing servers that run on Novell’s SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 yesterday. Opsware executives said automation management is becoming more critical to reduce the cost of ownership as SuSE Linux gains adoption across large IT organizations.

“As part of their efforts to improve efficiency and lower costs in their data centers, customers are migrating from proprietary Unix to Linux, and in particular to SuSE Linux platforms,” said Ben Horowitz, president and CEO of Opsware.

“This, in turn, drives greater demand for Opsware, as enterprises look to reduce the complexity and time associated with managing these servers. Opsware and Novell share a vision of a highly automated, efficient data center, and this solution is an important step in that direction.”

Securing Communications

Meanwhile, SSH Communications Security, the original developer of the Secure Shell protocol, has joined Novell’s Technology Partner Program and today announced that SSH Tectia supports Novell’s SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 running on all IBM eServer platforms.

The new version of the SSH Tectia solution will provide users running SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 with secure system administration, secure application connectivity, and secure file transfer functionality.

“Linux enterprise servers are fast becoming part of mission-critical IT infrastructure and an ideal opportunity for large enterprises, financial institutions, and government agencies to benefit from SSH Tectia’s FIPS certified enterprise-class managed security solution,” said Arto Vainio, CEO of SSH Communications Security.

“By partnering with Novell, we combine two best-of-breed solutions for our joint customers and gain increased access among enterprise customers for whom Novell is a household name.”

O’Grady said that by tying in other partners like Opsware and SSH, Novell is essentially introducing new critical abilities and functionalities.

“These announcements combined with some of the new ZENworks announcements are important in terms of building out an ecosystem that allows for the management of Linux servers and desktops,” he said.

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