Novell Expands SUSE Linux Ecosystem With Developer Toolkit


Novell is targeting the new SUSE Appliance Toolkit toward the hundreds of developers in the vendor's ISV community, as well as corporate developers and systems integrators.

As ISVs bring applications to market Novell is working to pair them with SUSE Linux resellers and distributors, said Steve Hale, vice president of Novell's global data center channel. "We're seeing a very robust ecosystem building up around this approach," he said.

Software appliances are preconfigured bundles of operating system, middleware and application software designed to run on industry-standard hardware. Research firm IDC forecasts that worldwide sales of software appliances will reach $1.1 billion by 2012.

Last July Novell introduced SUSE Studio Online, a free Web-based tool for quickly assembling software appliances, along with a technical preview of the toolkit that became available this week. Since that announcement, nearly 4,500 ISVs have registered to use Studio Online and more than 250,000 appliances have been built using the Web-based tool.

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"That shows there's real interest in the ecosystem for this kind of solution," said Matt Richards, director of emerging technology marketing at Novell.

The new SUSE Studio Onsite Appliance Toolkit includes SUSE Studio Onsite, an on-premise version of the online toolset; the WebYaST tool for remote configuration of SUSE Linux; and SUSE Lifecycle management Server for authentication and access control that makes it easier to distribute software patches and updates. The kit also supports KIWI, the image creation tool for SUSE Studio.

For the new toolkit Novell is charging ISVs fees according to a sliding scale based on the amount of revenue generated by sales of their applications.