Novell, SpikeSource Partner On LAMP Stack - InformationWeek

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3/20/2006
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Novell, SpikeSource Partner On LAMP Stack

Novell has formed an alliance with SpikeSource, focusing on better integration between the firms' enterprise Linux and LAMP-stack products -- a relationship that both firms hope to use to gain competitive leverage versus Microsoft.

Novell has formed an alliance with SpikeSource to better integrate its Linux distribution with the LAMP stack and to help the two companies compete more effectively against Microsoft.

Under the deal, announced Monday at BrainShare 2006, Novell agreed to participate in the SpikeSource Certified Solutions Program, and SpikeSource will participate in Novell's MarketStart program, said Nick Halsey, vice president of strategic alliances and international sales at Redwood City, Calif.-based SpikeSource.

Microsoft's ability to tightly integrate its homegrown middleware stack with its Windows operating system has traditionally given it an advantage that other ISVs cannot beat. But now a key Linux vendor, Novell can offer that same level of assurance for Suse Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and the best-of-breed, open-source LAMP stack, Halsey said.

"We've been integrating the Spike certified stack with Novell's YES, and now we're extending beyond testing and certifying SLES to certifying the stack on top of the operating system," Halsey said. "Now you have something that stacks up to what Microsoft is doing."

SpikeSource offers one lightweight certification called SpikeSource-Compatible, which certifies that an application will run and install on SpikeSource, and a second level--which Novell will engage in--that ensures a fully tested, certified stack and requires ISVs to offer customers technical support.

For its part, SpikeSource will participate in Novell's MarketStart program, which was launched at BrainShare last year and offers open-source ISVs funding and marketing assistance. SugarCRM and Pentaho also participate in the program.

SpikeSource said the alliance with Novell will likely eliminate the need for some integration services performed by the channel. However, Halsey said the channel will benefit from having access to pre-integrated, tested and certified open-source stacks on Linux because it will spawn more customer adoption. It also will allow Novell channel partners to develop more advanced, higher-margin opportunities such as building open-source CRM, business intelligence and systems management solutions, he added.

The deal also gives SpikeSource and other open-source ISVs participating in Novell MarketStart access to Novell's sizable base of channel partners. "By certifying these applications, these channel partners will have a much richer set of offerings and offer end-to-end, integrated and supported solutions to their customers," Halsey said.

SpikeSource has entered similar arrangements with hot open-source ISVs, including SugarCRM, Pentaho, XenSource, JasperSoft and Alfresco.

One Novell Platinum Partner said the MarketStart program is working to connect open-source ISVs with Novell channel partners. "We are using YAST and monitoring using GroundWork, one of Novell's MarketStart partners. We were using AppArmor before Novell bought it," said Paul Anderson, CEO of Novacoast, Santa Barbara, Calif.

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