Novell Boosts Linux Support

Company launches upgrades, services.

Jack Messman
Novell Inc. last week launched enhancements and services offerings across multiple product lines while renewing its customer focus.

"Weve always been interoperable and have offered [customers] a number of choices as to where the services we have can run. We are now also adding Linux to those," said CEO Jack Messman (pictured) in an interview.

Part of the Provo, Utah, enterprises Linux plan, announced at its BrainShare conference in Salt Lake City, includes new Linux and Mac OS client support in its GroupWise 6.5 collaboration software. Novell also released the source code for its Novell Nsure UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) Server; debuted an open-source developer Web site; and formally unveiled its release of Novell NetWare 6.5, which is due this summer.

"While Microsoft [Corp.]s products are often described as just good enough, while we have the best operating system, we have fallen short on ... marketing. We are changing this by focusing on the customer, listening to what they have to say and working backward," Messman said.

The GroupWise client for Linux and Mac OS is based on Java and founded on technology that Novell acquired from N-iX, a division of Newcomp Computer Systems GmbH, and will be available to customers later this year.

Officials said the next iteration of NetWare, Version 7, will include the ability for customers to run all the services that sit on top of the NetWare kernel today on top of the Linux kernel. The code for NetWare 6.5 is in beta, and NetWare 7 is likely to ship late next year, officials said.

Novell also unveiled new services around its ZENworks management software. The Novell Resource Management package of services and software folds in personality migration software from Miramar Systems Inc., dubbed Desktop DNA, along with several ZENworks handheld, desktop and server management tools, including ZENworks for Desktops, ZENworks for Servers and ZENworks for Handhelds.

The service and technology package is focused on helping IT to consolidate management of heterogeneous IT resources using directory-based identities and policies.

Novell further extended its ZENworks management line with data management capabilities in its Novell iFolder tool, which automates user data protection. The tool works with multiple devices.

Novells Extend Director adds Web-based, self-service functions to ZENworks, letting users select resources and have them delivered without help from a systems administrator.

In security, Novell made the Liberty identity provider for Novell eDirectory, previously code-named Saturn, available in a release downloadable from its Web site. The identity provider, based on the Liberty Alliances Version 1.1 specification, lets enterprises establish secure links among internal and external Web sites.