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Products getting a boost at LinuxWorld include remote access software from 3am Labs, and Netline Internet Service, which uses the WebDAV standard interface.

Barbara Darrow

August 4, 2004

3 Min Read

Open source is getting a boost on the remote access, remote diagnostics and collaboration fronts this week at LinuxWorld.

3am Labs, a Burlington, Mass.-based maker of secure remote access and systems management for Windows, said it aims to move fully into the Linux realm by the year's end, and Netline Internet Service said it plans to put its open-source mail and collaboration package into General Public License. 3am's LogMeIn software lets users connect to business or home computers from virtually any networked device equipped with a browser. And solution providers use the vendor's RemotelyAnywhere software to manage, troubleshoot and fix customers' computers regardless of their location. The current versions of 3am's software let users access Windows machines from Linux devices, but the new versions will let users running Windows or Linux reach Windows or Linux boxes, according to the company. LogMeIn features SSL end-to-end encryption, supports multiple authentication methods and can tie in to Windows or Samba networks, 3am said. The software also provides audit logs that can be funneled into a database or a syslog server. RemotelyAnywhere offers Web-based access to host computers, embeds a full SSH server for Windows and allows desktop access via a Java-based multiplatform client. It also provides direct access to many system admin tools via an HTML-based interface. Netline said its code, which is the basis of Novell/SUSE's OpenExchange offering, will be available under the General Public License this month. The software presents a "tremendous opportunity for VARs," Netline CEO Frank Hoberg said. "It's all open standards. [Netline uses] the WebDAV standard interface," Hoberg said. "It's easy for VARS to integrate our product in their installations." The server supports most standard POP and IMAP mail clients and can tie in to existing ERP systems, enabling VARs to integrate SAP or other systems to OpenExchange's address and calendar database, Hoberg said. Gregg Rosenberg, CTO of RICIS, a Tinley Park, Ill.-based Novell and SUSE partner, said his company already has more than 1,000 SUSE OpenExchange implementations under its belt and expects to increase that number with the GPL version. About 340 of those implementations were users switching from Microsoft Exchange Server, he said. Microsoft's licensing changes and pricing are motivating companies to look at alternatives, according to Rosenberg. "We expect to do $1.2 million to $1.5 million in SUSE/Novell Linux-related professional work this year," he said. And more people are realizing that open source is here to stay, Rosenberg added. "It controls the lion's share of the Internet. [It provides] security for organizations. The app server started being very popular, and the fact that Oracle and [IBM] DB2 databases play atop SUSE is a big deal," he said. Putting OpenExchange code into GPL will give solution providers like RICIS direct access to the code and influence its future direction. In addition, OpenExchange's move to GPL will let solution providers customize installations for customers and, ultimately, get those tweaks into the source tree so they'll become supported, as well as open up components--such as Java runtimes--that previously had been proprietary, Rosenberg said. "They will become available to us, and we can do more things to the product than we could before," he said. Olbe, Germany-based Netline is working on a hybrid model, similar to that pioneered by MySQL, Hoberg said. "We're building a commercial business model based on maintenance and services and add-ons," he said.

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