Novell, Red Hat Swap Open-Xchange Roles

As Linux and open-source vendor Novell moves to wind down its relationship with Open-Xchange and the open-source Open-Xchange collaboration server, Novell's primary competitor, Red Hat, is quickly moving in to take its place.

As Linux and open-source vendor Novell Inc. moves to wind down its relationship with Open-Xchange Inc. and the open-source Open-Xchange collaboration server, Novells primary competitor, Red Hat Inc., is quickly moving in to take its place.

Novell, of Waltham, Mass., plans to discontinue selling at years end its SuSE Linux Openexchange Server, essentially a SuSE-branded version of Open-Xchange.

/zimages/6/28571.gifRead more here about the release of Open-Xchange Server 5.

Novell spokesperson Bruce Lowry recently said the companys relationship with Open-Xchange, formerly known as Netline Internet Service, has been in transition for some time.

"For the last few years, Novell has had a licensing agreement with Open-Xchange/Netline to resell their collaboration software branded as SuSE Linux Openexchange Server. As of Dec. 31 this year, that product will no longer be sold," Lowry said.

Novell will instead continue to offer enterprise collaboration solutions through its GroupWise software, Lowry said. He added that SuSE Linux Openexchange Server customers will continue to receive Novell support until Dec. 31, 2007, while Open-Xchange will provide bug fixes or Level 3 support.

However, under a new agreement signed with Novell in July, Open-Xchange will now sell Novells SuSE Linux Enterprise Server bundled with its Open-Xchange Server. That deal also allows New York-based Open-Xchange to offer its collaboration server to other vendors, most notably Red Hat, of Raleigh, N.C.

Open-Xchange has lost no time in capitalizing on the deal, announcing a reseller agreement with Red Hat and the release of Open-Xchange Server 5 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In addition, Open-Xchange will offer bundles for new customers and upgrade bundles for those migrating from SuSE Linux Openexchange Server to the Red Hat platform.

Open-Xchange CEO Frank Hoberg lauded the Red Hat deal, calling Red Hat the "worlds leading Linux platform."

The recently released Open-Xchange Server 5 enables migration to and integration with an open-source environment and lets IT administrators create and implement applications without changing infrastructure components such as databases, directory services, message transfer agents, e-mail servers or Web servers, Hoberg said.

Some Open-Xchange users, including Gregg Rosenberg, chief technology officer at Ricis Inc., in Tinley Park, Ill., welcomed Version 5 as more flexible and easier to deploy. Ricis has installed more than 1,600 Openexchange servers and performed more than 460 migrations of Microsoft Corp.s Exchange to SuSE Linux Openexchange Server.

Open-Xchange Server is now certified for the Red Hat Enterprise Server and Red Hat Application Server platforms.

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