Novell expands SuSE range

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Novell has launched Open Enterprise Server and unveiled its data centre strategy for its SuSE Enterprise Linux distribution, which will offer Xen virtualisation, clustering and advanced security.

At LinuxWorld Expo, the US software company said its long awaited Open Enterprise Server (OES), which integrated the NetWare 6 kernel with Linux 2.6 kernel-based SuSE Enterprise Linux 9, would serve the needs of the workgroup and NetWare customers considering a migration to Linux.

It would ship in early March, Novell said.

Novell wanted to improve its offering for existing NetWare customers. It also claimed to be moving to address data centre needs by providing support for Xen open source virtualisation in its forthcoming SuSE Professional 9.3 and full commercial support in the next SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 in 2006, executives said.

The Linux distribution currently supported User-Mode Linux (UML) but Novell decided to adopt Xen open source virtualisation technology, which is maintained by XenSource.

Novell executives said they were working with Intel and HP on the Xen technology.

Novell also wanted to provide advanced security, clustering and management services for SuSE customers.

Novell chief executive Jack Messman said Linux had moved deeper into the infrastructure and customers required certified, open source application infrastructure stacks such as JBoss and MySQL as well as clustering, virtualisation and systems management.

So Novell and IBM at LinuxWorld Expo this year had announced what it claimed as the highest level of security achieved by any Linux distribution, dubbed CAPP/EAL4+ for SuSE Enterprise Linux 9.

This high level of security-- also known as EAL4 -- is important to government agencies.

Novell also said it had signed a strategic alliance with clustering software ISV PolyServe under which Novell would resell and provide support for Polyserve Matrix Server virtual storage and clustering software.

PolyServe's software had a symmetric clustered file system for data sharing and storage virtualisation.

Meanwhile, the company enhanced its Novell Clustering Services for OES, which offered business continuity services and allowed users to create a clustered mix of Netware and Linux with interoperability and failover between the platforms.

To enable data centre management, Novell planned to exploit the Yast tools of SuSE and intended this year to debut an access management product, based on new WinFX markup language XAML, for Linux to provide federated services.

Novell and Red Hat would compete to provide enterprise customers with data centre services such as storage, virtualisation, security and management.

Novell executives said they were aggressively moving ahead with Linux for the data centre but hadn't forgotten the needs of Netware customer and partners who stood at a crossroads between proprietary and open source software.

Ron Hovsepian, president of Novell North America, said the company was training channel partners on both OES and SuSE Enterprise Linux 9 and not pressuring partners to push Linux over NetWare.

"I want them to do what's best for the customer," Hovsepian told CRN. "They have a choice."

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