Novell Talks Up Linux Plans

In a wide-ranging conversation, Novell executives on Wednesday talked about SCO, security certifications and the company's Linux strategy.


Novell Inc. is continuing its charge into Linux, no matter what The SCO Group Inc. may try to do in court. Referring to the SCO suit in a Wednesday press conference here, Jack Messman, Novell chief executive officer said that SCOs recent legal actions show that SCO is floundering and that Novell will vigorously protect its rights. He added, by being sued by SCO, "Were in good company with IBM and Red Hat."

Leaving the legal issues behind, Messman, along with Richard Seibt, former SUSE Linux CEO and now president of SUSE, and Chris Stone, vice-chairman of the office of CEO, described how Novell SUSE Linux has achieved new security milestones, found new partners and how Novell will move NetWare services to Linux.

Stone mentioned that GroupWise 6.5 will be running this year on Linux both as a client and as a server. Messman declared that this made GroupWise the first enterprise messaging server on Linux.

In addition, Ximians Evolution, a personal and workgroup information management program, will become part of GroupWise. GroupWise for Linux is currently in beta test.

The executives observed that its not just Novell thats moving programs to Linux. Stone announced that BEA Systems Inc. will be bringing its Java Virtual Machine (JVM) WebLogic Jrockit to Linux. Other ISVs that will be working with Novell and SUSE include Egenra Inc. and Veritas Software Corp.

For those to whom security is paramount, Novell announced that in partnership with IBM, it had achieved Controlled Access Protection Profile compliance under The Common Criteria for Information Security Evaluation (CC), commonly referred to as CAPP/EAL3+ for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 with Service Pack 3 on IBM eServers.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read more about IBM and Novells SUSE Linux security certifications.

Messman noted that Novell was the first open-source operating system to achieve a CAPP/EAL3+ rating, and that Novell will seek to achieve this level of security, and more, with other hardware vendors. In particular, Messman appealed to Martin Fink, Hewlett-Packard Co.s vice president for Linux enterprise, who was in the audience, for Novell and HP to work together in the near future.

Novell representatives also said that the documentation for Novell-SUSEs security workup will be made open source so that other Linux and hardware vendors can quickly achieve their own security certifications.

Novell also announced that it was endorsing the Eclipse development framework and that all of Novells development tools will now be using Eclipse across its platforms.

Stone said that Novell would be opening up more of its own proprietary code, but nothing will be forthcoming quickly since "We dont want to just throw things on the wall to see if they stick."

That said, Messman added that "it makes sense for us to contribute and we will."

As for Novells NetWare customers, Messman indicated that Novell would not push NetWare customers to Linux. Novell will be moving all its NetWare services to Linux by years end with NLS 2.0. However, Messman expects migration from NetWare to Linux to go slowly since the NetWare kernel, for most of the purposes NetWare is used for, is 20 percent faster than Linux.

During the conference, Seibt mentioned that SUSE is no longer active in UnitedLinux since SCO is still a member. "There is no value in this relationship. SUSE, however, will work separately with UnitedLinux members Turbolinux and Conectiva."

Towards the end of the conference, Messman briefly returned to SCOs copyright and business-practices lawsuit.

/zimages/5/28571.gifRead more here about SCOs latest lawsuit, this time against Novell.

Messman said that Novell had kept the right to sell and service then-existing Unix licenses, so Novell has the right to manage those Unix licenses. This also means, Messman explained, if there is any Unix in Linux Novell, Novell has the right to use it and the codes copyright, not SCO.

He added, "This gives Novell unique Linux indemnification rights."