SALT LAKE CITY—Novell executives used the companys annual BrainShare conference here to pledge to continue to support NetWare 6.5 until at least 2015 for those customers who had no plans to upgrade to Linux.
“We will support NetWare 6.5 for as long as customers continue to use it. So I urge those of you who have not yet upgraded to NetWare 6.5 to do so.
“But we want to make clear that our commitment to the product remains unchanged and in force,” Jack Messman, Novell CEO and chairman, said in his opening keynote at the conference on March 20.
Addressing several thousand attendees at a packed keynote, Messman then announced a number of new upcoming products and offerings, including the new GroupWise Mobile Server powered by Intellisync, which is in beta and supports more than 400 mobile devices and a number of platforms, and will be made available for free.
“We expect this to be available to users shortly,” he said.
BlackBerry users will be able to connect with enhanced GroupWise integration through the new BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.1 for Novell GroupWise from RIM (Research In Motion).
Messman then announced the new Novell Open Workgroup Suite, which includes both server and desktop components, e-mail, collaboration and open-source desktop productivity applications.
It would also be priced at significantly less than Microsofts comparable suite, he said.
The Novell Open Workgroup Suite includes the Linux version of the Novell Open Enterprise Server, Novell GroupWise for Linux, the Novell ZENworks suite, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and the OpenOffice.org desktop productivity suite.
It is priced at $110 per device/user for a perpetual license and $75 annually for software maintenance.
For existing NetWare, GroupWise and ZENworks customers, the suite is available with the NetWare version of Open Enterprise Server and cross-platform GroupWise as an upgrade bundle for $150 per user/device.
A rental offering is also available for both offerings.
Messman then announced the beta for Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise 10, which he described as the platform for the open enterprise and which leveraged the assets of Linux, open source and Novells engineering efforts.
This platform would leverage open standards across IT to drive business innovation, protected against security threats anywhere and lowered operating costs.
Two products were built on the SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 platform: the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 product and the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.
The platform supported all of Novells products, from the data center to the desktop, workgroup, resource management and security and identity fronts. “This is a complete package, offering the platform, products and services above that, as well as our partner and support networks,” Messman said.
Promising that this would be the biggest and the best BrainShare conference ever, Messman said that about 6,000 people from more than 50 countries had signed up to attend the show, 800 of which are new customer attendees.
There would be some 240 breakout sessions offered over the week, 65 of which are around security and identity, he said.
Lower costs are also no longer the driving force behind Linux adoption, he said, adding that enterprises are increasingly shifting to open solutions.
Participating in the Open
Novell participates in open standards groups and the open-source community in a comprehensive way, he said.
“We are very proud of our continued leadership here,” he said.
Eight out of 10 Fortune 500 customers used SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, he said, adding that customers were telling Novell that this product was better integrated, offered them the mixed source, heterogeneous approach they wanted, as well as comprehensive IP protections.
With regard to the Linux desktop, Messman said that “while there is still a need to close the gap for power users with the Linux desktop, the community is working hard on this.”
The entire BrainShare desktop network was also being powered by the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, he said, adding that there were currently 120 companies in the beta testing program.
Ron Hovsepian, Novells president and COO, took the stage next, telling attendees that there is a lot of pressure for businesses to lower costs, become more flexible, efficient and responsive, form more productive relationships, improve security and standardize the components of the IT infrastructure.
Dell had just selected Novell as the premier systems management partner in the industry, and the Novell ZENworks 7 Linux Management – Dell Edition product would be available next month to manage Dell Linux servers, he said.
On the enterprise customer front, Commerce Bank, with 12,500 staff, has picked Novell as its technology supplier because of the high quality of its products and because it believes Novell understands its business and partners well to bring its products and services to customers based on their specific needs, a spokesperson said.
Telecom New Zealand has been looking for an identity management solution with security for its entire network, and was attracted to Novells products and long history in this space, a spokesperson said.
Deutsche Bahn, with a railway network of 35,000 kilometers, had moved to SUSE Linux to meet all its certification requirements.
It was running numerous systems on Linux, and Novells solution had brought it enterprise computing at a lower cost.
Deutsche Bahn had saved some 25 percent in maintenance costs and up to 50 percent in software and hardware costs, a company spokesperson said.
“These customers all value Novells approach to learning about their business and the providing solutions and products that meet their specific needs and requirements,” Hovsepian said.
Jeff Jaffe, Novells chief technology officer, then took the stage with an important message: “Novell is poised to be the innovation leader in the industry,” he said, to much applause.
This innovation would go directly into Novells products, and customers would benefit from this through its software, he added.
While the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 desktop might not be the best choice for a small number of power users, it is the best solution for all other enterprise and corporate users, he said, adding that while Novell continues to invest in much-needed proprietary enhancements, it will continue to leverage the power of the open-source community and provide open standards solutions on mixed environments.
Novell will continue to support those products for customers who are not ready to move to Linux, he said, but would also continue developing open based solutions like SUSE Linux Enterprise 10, which will bring virtualization, including the Xen technologies and Novells own hypervisor and threading technologies; integrated systems management; scalability; security; and the Novell Customer Center—an external Web site providing support and updates to customers, Jaffe said.
“Novells innovation engine leverages the innovation of the entire industry and allows customers to have a low-cost, high-performance IT environment,” Jaffee said.