Novell to Develop Cross-Platform Data Center Tools

The company's planned integrated tool suite is designed to allow users to allocate resources to maximize server utilization across Windows, Unix and Linux.

SALT LAKE CITY—Novell is working on a new integrated suite of tools that will allow customers to manage heterogeneous data center environments across Windows, Unix and Linux.

The tools also help users maximize server utilization by setting up a series of workload policies based on the business application resources required.

The project, currently titled "The policy-driven adaptive data center," will leverage virtualization, identity management and resource management to deliver a flexible and adaptive data center, Justin Steinman, worldwide data center marketing manager for Novell, told eWEEK in an interview here at the annual BrainShare show.

/zimages/4/28571.gifRead more here about product announcements at BrainShare this year.

"This is what customers want and where we see the data center going. This will also be the first tool set that can do this across all these environments," Steinman said.

"Customers are frustrated that average server utilization today is just 20 percent, with many corporate business applications running at peak only at certain times," he said.

In many cases a server is dedicated to each application, so if that application is not in continuous use, the server is underutilized. An example of this was a customers payroll system, which operated at peak around pay days—the middle and end of the month—but then sat idle the rest of the time, he said.

Novells data center team thus was looking at how best to decouple the application from the server and establish a policy that allowed the user to devote and redeploy resources based on a set of policies, determined by the needs and timing of those business applications.

"Essentially, the tools would allow the user to set up a series of workload policies, based on the business application resources required. The tool set will help users with resource monitoring and measuring," Steinman said.

Steinman said the team was now evaluating how best to achieve that goal, and the new tool suite could be delivered within a year. While the pricing and positioning strategies have not been determined, the product would be sold as a separate tool set, he said.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read more about the SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 platform and server.

Asked if Novell would be likely to open-source the product, he said this was unlikely, although it was too early in the process for a decision to have been made yet.

Novell the week of March 20 announced the beta for its SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 platform, which it describes as "the platform for the open enterprise," drawing on the assets of Linux, open source and Novells engineering efforts. Steinman said the development team concentrated on the three things customers most wanted from their servers: performance, reliability and security.

Steinman said the desktop and server versions of Novells SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 products would be based on the single SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 platform code base. The server will ship with the MySQL and PostgreSQL software, he said.

Holger Dyroff, vice president of product management and marketing for Novell, based in Provo, Utah, told eWEEK in an interview that Novell had released Beta 8 of the SLES 10 software at BrainShare, and that he was "comfortable" that the product would ship this summer.

/zimages/4/84833.gifZiff Davis Media eSeminars invite: On March 30 at 4 p.m. ET join AMD and Red Hat as they introduce an alternative to Unix systems—open-source technology with 64-bit and multicore processors.

The product rollout had been moved back a few months as the team continued to work on the virtualization technologies, support for the Intel and Advanced Micro Devices Pacifica virtualization chip sets and the Xen package management feature, Dryoff said.

"Timelines and features will never trump code quality, and if we need more time to ensure the quality of a product, we will take it," he said.

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