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Novell's New Products Aim To Rally The Linux Troops

Despite the product bonanza at BrainShare, the most applause came for the company chairman's announcement that Novell will support NetWare through 2015.

Novell launched its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 last week along with other products aimed at SMB customers, its traditional NetWare base and mobile users.

The product announcements made at BrainShare 2006—as well as Identity Manager 3 and Zenworks 7—will drive Novell’s ambitious Linux open enterprise platform plans over the next year, said Novell Chairman and CEO Jack Messman.

Yet it was Messman’s announcement that Novell will support NetWare through 2015 that drew the most applause during his opening keynote at the conference in Salt Lake City.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, or SLES 10, is due to ship this summer and will feature integrated Xen virtualization, AppArmor application security, cluster-aware data management, support for more than 10 Tbytes of memory, support for up to 1,024 CPUs, integrated NFS4 and enhanced iSCSI support that will allow customers to turn SLES into a SAN.

Novell also launched the Open Workgroup Suite, aimed at the SMB audience, slated to ship in May.

“The workgroup suite will help the channel in the small to medium-[size] enterprise [SME] space,” said John Marciano, director of sales at KIS, a Novell partner in Fremont, Calif. “They’re leaving the SME to us, and that’s anywhere between 150 and 5,000 desktops. We want them to let us lead in these accounts, and they’re giving us incentives to do it.”

In addition, Novell, Waltham, Mass., revealed plans to release two new versions of its Open Enterprise Server (OES) over the next three years. The upgrade of the NetWare-Linux hybrid server, code-named Cypress, is expected to ship in mid-2007. OES incorporates the NetWare and Linux kernels, while SLES incorporates the Linux kernel only. In the future, OES and SLES will support NetWare as a para-virtualized OS—enabling those workloads to run better than guest workloads.

The next OES will offer server virtualization, as well as better integration with Active Directory and Novell eDirectory using Kerberos. The next edition, code-named Ponderosa, will offer collaboration services.

Novell also launched the Novell Open Workgroup Suite, which includes the Linux version of OES, Novell Enterprise Linux Desktop, GroupWise for Linux and Zenworks. It is priced at $110 per device, per user and $75 annually for maintenance. There will be two options—one for Linux and one for NetWare. The NetWare version will cost $150 per device, per user. Novell also introduced the GroupWise Mobile Server, which is based on Intellisync’s technology and due to ship next quarter.

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