A Unique Partnership

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-09-03 Print this article Print


On Sept. 1 at the VMworld 2010 conference in San Francisco, VMware and Novell announced the general availability of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware, the first step in the companies' expanded partnership announced in June. The solution is designed to reduce IT complexity and accelerate the customer evolution to a fully virtualized data center. With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware, customers who purchase a VMware vSphere license and subscription also receive a subscription for patches and updates to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware at no additional cost. Additionally, VMware will offer the option to purchase technical support services for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware for a seamless support experience available directly and through its network of solution provider partners. This unique solution benefits customers by reducing the cost and complexity of deploying and maintaining an enterprise operating system running on VMware vSphere.

"This unique partnership gives VMware and Novell customers a simplified and lower-cost way to virtualize and manage their IT environments, from the data center to fully virtualized data centers," said Joe Wagner, senior vice president and general manager, Global Alliances, Novell, in a statement. "SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware is the logical choice for VMware customers deploying and managing Linux within their enterprise. This agreement is also a strong validation of Novell's strategy to lead in the intelligent workload management market."

"VMware vSphere delivers unique capabilities, performance and reliability that enable our customers to virtualize even the most demanding and mission-critical applications," said Raghu Raghuram, senior vice president and general manager, Virtualization and Cloud Platforms, VMware, in a statement. "With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware, we provide customers a proven enterprise Linux operating platform with subscription to patches and updates at no additional cost, improving their ability to complete the transformation of their data center into a private cloud while further increasing their return on investment."

With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware, early adopter companies such as Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) are already starting to take advantage of the VMware and Novell offering.

"OCLC is running 2,000 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) virtual machines on VMware vSphere using 120 physical hosts, saving OCLC time and money," said Gene Oliver, executive director for systems management at OCLC. Furthermore, by taking advantage of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware, OCLC has adhered to its public purpose of furthering access to information and reducing costs for libraries."

As Dignan put it:

"Add it up and VMware may be Novell's savior in many respects. Novell's quarter was light on revenue as customers held back purchases. Novell is exploring strategic alternatives and IT buyers don't want to deal with the uncertainty. Novell reported third quarter non-GAAP earnings of 6 cents a share on revenue of $199 million, which fell short of Wall Street estimates. Novell also declined to give an outlook for the fourth quarter.

"Simply put, Novell needs a few powerful friends to gain traction among IT buyers. And with the Microsoft partnership waning, it's clear Novell's new best friend is VMware. Another possibility: VMware is a leading candidate to buy Novell."

Meanwhile, Novell also is looking to cash in on the push into the cloud. The company recently announced the general availability of Novell Cloud Security Service. Part of Novell's WorkloadIQ vision, Novell Cloud Security Service gives cloud providers the ability to deliver secure access and compliance in the cloud for their customers. Novell Cloud Security Service is part of Novell's broader identity and security portfolio, which enables enterprises to have a consistent framework for managing identities across physical, virtual and cloud deployments.

With Novell Cloud Security Service, enterprises can quickly and easily extend their identity infrastructure to any public cloud. Any changes that are made to their users or permissions are immediately replicated in the cloud environment, thus ensuring one consistent identity and security framework for the enterprise, regardless of where the computing is actually taking place, Novell officials said.

"Security is the biggest hindrance to cloud adoption that service providers offering cloud services need to overcome," said Antonio Piraino, vice president of research at Tier 1 Research, in a statement. "The ability to provide interoperable security solutions for and between an enterprise's internal infrastructure and the cloud provider's platform will alleviate the biggest assurance, vulnerability and SLA concerns enterprises have today."

As cloud computing vendors that offer software-, platform- or infrastructure-as-a-service seek to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, value-added services such as customized security become increasingly important. Novell Cloud Security Service helps cloud service providers deliver trusted security assurance and compliance to their enterprise customers, the company said.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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