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Dell Strikes Deal To Bundle SUSE Linux With OEM Offerings

The move helps Dell tap into the growing demand for hardware-software appliances.

Dell's OEM Solutions division will offer The Attachmate Group's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server software bundled with Dell hardware for resellers who build turnkey systems around the products.

Under the deal announced Tuesday, systems from Dell OEM Solutions that incorporate SUSE Linux will be available by mid-year, according to the companies. "We have a lot of customers who are asking us for SUSE-powered solutions," said Jeff Otchis, Americas marketing director, Dell OEM solutions, in an interview.

Dell OEM Solutions has some 2,000 partners who take Dell hardware, including the company's PowerEdge servers, and develop custom systems for specific applications or industries. Otchis said the OEM Solutions operation is growing 20 percent annually, making it one of the company's fastest growing businesses.

A growing number of partners are using the hardware-software systems to develop task-specific appliances such as firewall security appliances. Using such pre-assembled systems helps channel partners get to market quicker and reduce operational costs, Otchis said. Partners are also reluctant to build up their own support and services organizations and want to leave such tasks to manufacturers like Dell, he added.

And those partners are seeking more integrated systems based on Linux, said Kerry Kim, senior solution marketing manager at SUSE. He said such demands are a growing sign of Linux's maturity.

The Germany-based developer of SUSE Linux was acquired by Novell in 2004, and Novell was itself acquired by The Attachmate Group in April 2011. SUSE Linux today is an Attachmate business unit.

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