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6/29/2010
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Novell Releases Log Management Software Appliance

Sentinel Log Manager records events from physical, virtual, and cloud environments, either as a virtual appliance or loaded on dedicated hardware.

Novell today announced the release of Novell Sentinel Log Manager 1.1, which can log events from physical, virtual, and cloud environments. Novell bills it as the first-ever log management appliance available as a software application. That means the software, which is built using SUSE Linux Enterprise, can be run as a virtual appliance in a virtual computing environment, or loaded onto dedicated hardware.

According to Dipto Chakravarty, Novell's VP of engineering identity and security, and general manager of its cloud security program, Sentinel Log Manager helps organizations answer four questions: Who does what, using identity and roles; who cannot do what, using access management; who did what and when, for compliance purposes; and who's doing what right now, using Novell's security information and event management (SIEM) product, Sentinel.

To do that, Novell Sentinel Log Manager also integrates with Sentinel as well as the Novell Identity Management suite. To access log data from cloud-based applications and services, Novell has built connectors to a number of services.

But why use a software appliance -- which Novell defines as a pre-configured combination of an application, middleware, and operating system -- rather than a purpose-built hardware appliance?

According to Charles Kolodgy, research VP at IDC, "software appliances are the next evolutionary step for software delivery, allowing hardware to be decoupled from the software, creating adaptable mechanisms for deployment and management."

In other words, they're easy to deploy and run, and don't necessarily require expensive, purpose-built hardware. "That's where appliance-based tools make so much sense, in that you can burst it out, run it virtualized, and in the cloud," said Novell's Chakravarty. "Ubiquitous is the word here."

According to a recent survey conducted by Novell, he said, 70% of data centers are still physical, roughly 30% are virtualized, and only 1-5% live in the cloud. Going forward, however, "it's really going to be tipping toward the cloud."

Accordingly, he said, "what's really lacking is managing all three environments with one tool. Because otherwise, every one of us will end up with a different set of management tools for physical, virtualized, and in-the-cloud environments."

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