Novell Adds Security Company to Its Linux Mix

Novell acquires Immunix, a leading Linux security program, to add server protection to its Linux server line.

On Tuesday, Novell announced that it had acquired Immunix, a leading provider of Linux host-based application security solutions for Linux.

Immunix Inc. has specialized in proactive security technologies for Linux. The company is also a longtime Novell Inc. partner.

Indeed, Novell bundled an Immunix YaST (SuSE Linuxs configuration program) module for setting up its application security product, AppArmor, in SLES (SuSE Linux Enterprise Server) 9.

Immunix had also worked closely with Novell partners, such as Novell Platinum Novell reseller Novacoast Inc. in bundling SLES and Immunix together.

With this acquisition completed, Novell will sell Immunixs program as Novell AppArmor powered by Immunix.

The program protects SLES 9 (and SLES 9-based operating systems such as Open Enterprise Server) and server applications from external or internal attacks, viruses and malicious applications.

"Only Novell AppArmor provides an enterprise-class security system for Linux that is easy to implement, deploy and maintain. Novell customers will sleep better at night knowing their applications are protected," said Novell chairman and CEO Jack Messman.

AppArmor comes with a set of predefined security policies for such popular Web server applications as the Apache Web server, the Postfix and Sendmail e-mail servers, the MySQL DBMS (database management system) and the Samba file and print server.

"Security through application containment has emerged as a favored way to protect applications from compromise and to protect applications from one another," observed Al Gillen, research director of system software at IDC.

"The acquisition of Immunix is a complementary addition to Novells Linux portfolio, and ties directly into Novells focus on bringing SuSE Linux Enterprise Server up-market to datacenter customers," said Gillen.

Stacey Quandt, senior business analyst for the Robert Frances Group, agreed.

"This is a good move for Novell because there is increasing awareness among customers that open-source security is a tool for risk mitigation," said Quandt.

/zimages/1/28571.gifRead more here about Novell reiterating its commitment to Linux despite the departure of a raft of senior executives.

In addition, "Novells acquisition narrows the gap with the Solaris operating system where the security capabilities are built-in while its generally incumbent upon end-users of Linux systems to augment security capabilities."

"Generally end-users of Linux systems have to do more work to determine the security features they want available or bolted on to enhance protection from security vulnerabilities, said Quandt.

"Novell continues to build on its Linux portfolio, and the addition of Immunix makes it easier for Linux users to benefit from the security benefits of an open-source operating system."

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