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2/24/2009
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Novell, VMware To Create Virtual Appliances For Linux

The collaborative deal affords ISVs using VMware Studio a free evaluation redistribution of appliances built on SuSE Linux Enterprise.

In response to archrival Red Hat's flurry of virtualization announcements this month, Novell has agreed to collaborate with VMware to help developers create virtual appliances for SUSE Linux Enterprise.

The collaborative deal affords ISVs using VMware Studio a free evaluation redistribution of appliances built on SUSE Linux Enterprise. The offer is designed to help developers simplify the process of creating virtual appliances.

Ultimately, the end goal for the two vendors and their developers is to deliver a turnkey solution that gives IT shops a simple -- or at least straightforward -- installation and configuration process.

The advantage of using VMware Studio, company officials believe, is that developers can better create an appliance that is fine-tuned for VMware's ESX platform. They note that VM Studio serves as a complement to Novell's SUSE Studio, in terms of its technical capabilities.

Parag Patel, VP in charge of alliances for VMware, believes each company has made the necessary investments to improve the performance and scalability and security to work with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in VMware machines. Those optimizations should give users more value for their investment.

"As more and more customers seek to achieve full virtualization, including mission-critical applications such as SAP, we expect our collaboration to yield increasing value," Patel said.

The agreement has gained some quick support as Zmanda, a developer of backup devices, became the first to promise delivery a compatible product. The company said it would make the device available through VMware's Virtual Appliance Marketplace.

"We see this appliance reducing the complexity of backup operation for system administrators. I think our engineers will now spend less time on installation and maintenance issues and more time on innovation," said Chander Kant, Zmanda's CEO.

In a related announcement Novell agreed to make SUSE Linux Enterprise Server function as a guest operating system working with VMware's ESX hypervisor. As part of that deal, Novell will supply enhanced support for SUSE Linux as a guest.

Separately, Novell, VMware, and SAP announced they are working together to help SAP customers migrate from Unix to VMware virtualized SUSE Linux Enterprise.


InformationWeek has been following VMware's progress in virtualization. Download the independent analysis here (registration required).

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