IBM, Novell Collaborating On Linux Stacks

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As part of eight IBM announcements planned for LinuxWorld Expo in Boston this week, Linux hardware and software distribution vendors are set to unveil an open middleware solution called Integrated Stack for Linux and Integrated File and Print Server for Linux that initially will be available to resellers through distributor Avnet.

The Integrated Stack for Linux is comprised of Novell SUSE Linux 9, IBM xSeries e-servers, DB2 Express-C and WebSphere Community Edition, formerly named Gluecode.

The Integrated File and Print for Linux solution consists of SUSE Linux 9 and Centeris Likewise. With this solution, an SMB customer or partner can easily plug a Novell SUSE Linux file and print server into a Windows environment.

Linux solution stacks arrive as Novell makes gains getting NetWare customers to move to Linux and adds new SMB customers from the Unix, Windows and Red Hat worlds.

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At its BrainShare conference late last month, Novell launched an Open Workgroup Suite aimed specifically at SMB customers at an attractive price point.

The company also plans to launch an aggressive training program called First Class to ready partners for its forthcoming SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLES) 10 and SLES Desktop. It's a two-day workshop available to partners free of charge and is scheduled for 20 to 25 cities, Novell said.

Novacoast, a Platinum partner in Santa Barbara, Calif., recently converted one Debian customer to SUSE Linux and is going after Red Hat.

Many NetWare customers plan to migrate to Novell's Linux platform. Novacoast said it recently landed a deal with a large 60-branch bank to migrate all of its NetWare servers to Novell Open Enterprise Server.

Sean Canavaro, CEO of KIS Systems, Fremont, Calif., said his Netware customers plan to migrate to Novell Linux but it may take a little time. "Novell customers are very logical, and they'll try to go to OES since maintenance costs are 30 [percent] to 40 percent less."