The IT industry megatrends of virtualization and cloud computing are creating a demand for intelligent workload management tools and Novell sees opportunities for itself and its channel partners in meeting that demand.
Tuesday Novell will unveil an evolution in its strategic direction to position its development, security, systems management and business services management products for intelligent workload management and will disclose a product roadmap to debut new products in each of those categories in 2010.
"It is our intention to lead this market," said John Dragoon, Novell senior vice president and chief marketing officer, in an interview. But he acknowledged that the shift would take some work by Novell given that most don't think of the company as a "cloud computing" vendor. "We're an infrastructure software company," he said.
Virtualized systems already handle more than 15 percent of IT workloads and are expected to handle as much as 50 percent by 2012, Dragoon said, quoting analyst forecasts. And while cloud computing only accounts for about 1 percent of IT workloads today, the use of cloud computing to handle such workloads is growing 30 percent per year, he said.
While the use of virtualization and cloud computing technologies is growing rapidly, IT managers have concerns about securing such systems and managing their performance, according to Dragoon. What's needed are tools to develop workload applications, secure workloads running on virtualized and cloud computing systems, manage those workloads and measure their performance to ensure their availability, he said.
Novell's argument is that its current products map well to those needs and new products in each category that will ship during the next six months will bolster product lines.
While systems management software vendors such as BMC, CA and IBM offer some products in this space, Dragoon argued that Novell is the only company with products that span all those technology areas.
Dragoon said the new strategy and product roadmap will provide Novell's channel partners with a more "wholistic solution" for the virtualization and cloud computing markets. Novell, for example, is already working with channel partner Affiliated Computer Services to develop an advanced management platform that combines Novell identity management, security, and systems management products.
For building intelligent workload applications, Novell will add to its SUSE Appliance Program products a SUSE Appliance Toolkit for deploying and maintaining Linux applications in physical and virtual environments, and Novell Workshop for building Linux and Windows applications for intelligent workloads with embedded manageability, security and compliance. Dragoon cited the need to build Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protections into cloud applications, as an example.
On the security side Novell already offers Identity Manager, Compliance Management Platform and Sentinel. In 2010 the company will ship Novell Identity Manager 4 and Novell Cloud Security Service that the company said will help customers, particularly service providers, secure intelligent workload systems.
For managing intelligent workload applications and measuring their performance Novell already has the PlateSpin Workload Management and Managed Objects business service management tools it acquired earlier this year. In 2010 Novell will add to its lineup self-service provisioning portal software, codenamed "PlateSpin Atlantic," and physical server change and configuration management and monitoring software now known as "PlateSpin Bluestar." And the new ZENworks "Workbench" will provide a master repository and change/control system for IT workloads.
Novell also plans to integrate its Sentinel security information and event management software with its Novell Business Service Manager to create the Novell Compliance Automation system for real-time monitoring of IT events.