Novell's Next Linux Server, Desktop In The Pipeline


SLES 10, which is expected to move into beta testing in August and ship in early 2006, will incorporate commercially supported Xen virtualization, consolidated software management, a Common Information Model (CIM) systems management API and flexible add-on capabilities to allow ISVs and service partners to hook in products and services, Novell product managers said during a BrainShare briefing on Tuesday.

The inclusion of Xen open-source virtualization will allow customers to run SLES versions 8 and 9 and Novell Linux Desktop 9 and 10 in virtual images on the same server, and Novell plans to offer a virtualization support on the Novell Linux Software Development Kit, executives said.

Another major goal of the release is to integrate the Suse YAST Online Update code with Novell's ZenWork Linux Management platform into a single software update solution. YAST is Suse's management utilities.

It will also offer an integrated management console based on YAST.

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Code 10 will be complemented by the release in 2006 of Novell's Linux Desktop 10, code-named "Cassidy," will which offer tight integration with SLES 10 and Novell Open Enterprise Server.

The Cassidy release will also feature a powerful new open-source search engine dubbed "Beagle" that will allow powerful searches of Internet data and word, spreadsheet, e-mail and other corporate data, Novell product managers said.

Following those, Novell will ship SLES 11 in 2008 and its complementary Linux Desktop 11, code-named "Etta," in the same time frame, sources said.

As the SLES 10 upgrade moves into beta testing in August, Novell also plans to release in August Service Pack 2 for SLES 9 that will offer support for multicore processors, SATA2 storage scalability, No Execute (NX) security features in processors and Linux desktop updates for wireless LAN support.

In a meeting with CRN, Novell's top Linux product executive said Novell's release of Suse Enterprise Linux 9 and Novell Linux Desktop 9 last summer began the convergence of the two companies' technologies, but the next platform will fulfill the vision unveiled after Novell purchased Germany-based Suse in early 2004.

"Code 10 is the release that will align all Novell products with Suse," said David Patrick, senior vice president and general manager of Linux Platforms and Services for Novell. "When we get to 10, we've made the transition of all products ... it's about integrating Novell technologies into Suse with Suse as the foundation for all products."

He acknowledges there are holes in the platform and Novell is seeking out top-rated third-party ISVs to fill those voids. The company recently signed a deal with PolyServe Matrix for enhancing clustering file support and announced at Brainshare on Tuesday a major pact with Veritas Software to deliver storage management and high-availability software on Suse Linux Enterprise Server 9 in the third quarter of 2005.

Novell also announced it would devote more engineering resources to its JBoss middleware partner. Novell has elected not to use its acquired application server and portal for future development.