Attachmate Splits Novell Acquisition into NetIQ, SUSE Divisions

With the Novell buyout complete, Attachmate has moved its open-source products into SUSE and security products into its NetIQ business divisions.

Attachmate closed the $2.2 billion Novell acquisition four weeks ago and split up the various Novell products across multiple business units: Novell, SUSE, NetIQ and Attachmate. Each division will be independent with its own go-to-market strategy and will have its own organization structures, Attachmate announced on May 18.

Novell's SUSE Linux will be its own division, SUSE, competing head-to-head with Canonical and Red Hat. Attachmate will continue to develop and distribute NetWare and other Novell networking products, such as Open Enterprise Server, GroupWise and Zenworks, as part of the Novell division.

NetIQ, the systems management division, will get Novell's identity and security programs as well as data center and virtualization products.

The Attachmate division will focus on areas such as terminal emulation, legacy modernization and enterprise fraud management.

SUSE will continue supporting the server and desktop versions of SUSE Linux, as well as oversee development and maintenance of the openSUSE community distribution. The division will develop and maintain SUSE Manager provisioning and patching tool and SUSE Development Studio.

The server distribution, SLES, will continue to be supported on IBM's System z mainframe products.

SUSE will maintain many of Novell's ties with other open-source projects, such as LibreOffice, the office suite that broke away from Oracle's suite late last year, and the Linux-based Evolution email client that mimics many of Outlook's features.

However, SUSE will no longer be supporting Mono, the open-source adaptation of Microsoft's .NET architecture. Xamarin, a new company founded by Mono's founder Miguel de Icaza, will continue work on Mono. Despite no longer being involved with Mono development, SUSE will continue to support customers who bought the commercialized version.

As for Novell's cloud and data center products, they will be integrated with Attachmate's own NetIQ portfolio, Jay Gardner, president and general manager of NetIQ, told eWEEK. The products include Novell eDirectory, Novell Identity Manager, Novell Access Manager, Novell Sentinel, Novell Operations Center and the PlateSpin product line for high-end data center virtualization management.

The two companies had many customers in common, but there was very little overlap between the products themselves, according to Gardner. Customers will now get support from a "single source," and the combination gives a "tremendous opportunity" for NetIQ going forward to "deliver secure and quality service to the enterprise," Gardner said.

The sales teams have been integrated, and there's a lot of excitement internally about what the combined teams can accomplish, Gardner said. During the post-acquisition activities, there was a feeling of "Wow, do you realize what we have here?" Gardner said, adding, "That's what we hope customers will realize if they give us a chance."

Attachmate plans to keep the Novell brand for the time being, as there's "no pressure" to alter the branding and it will mean less customer disruption, according to Gardner. As part of the post-acquisition activities, Novell and NetIQ will be coming up with updated road maps to address next steps.

Attachmate completed the buyout of Novell on April 27 at $6.10 per share in cash. Attachmate has already laid off some staff, including the Mono team and the legal team. There is some speculation that there may be more layoffs, but Attachmate did not comment on any plans.