Novell Launches OES, Plans Xen Virtualization For SUSE 10

Server data center Linux clustering

At LinuxWorld Expo, the Waltham, Mass., software company said that its long awaited Open Enterprise Server (OES), which integrates both the NetWare 6 kernel and Linux 2.6 kernel-based SUSE Enterprise Linux 9, will serve the needs of the workgroup and NetWare customers considering a migration to Linux. It will ship in early March.

But even as it strives to serve the needs of its existing NetWare customers, Novell will move swiftly ahead to address data center needs by providing support for Xen open source virtualization in its forthcoming SUSE Professional 9.3 this fall and full commercial support in the next SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 due in 2006, executives said.

The Linux distribution currently supports User-Mode Linux (UML) but Novell decided to adopt Xen open source virtualization technology, which is maintained by XenSource. Novell executives said they are working with both Intel and HP on the Xen technology.

Additionally, Novell is moving ahead to provide advanced security, clustering and management services for SUSE customers.

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Novell CEO Jack Messman said Linux has moved deeper into the infrastructure and customers require certified, open source application infrastructure stacks such as JBoss and MySQL as well as clustering, virtualization and systems management.

To that end, Novell announced in conjunction with IBM at LinuxWorld Expo the highest level of security achieved by any Linux distribution referred to as CAPP/EAL4+ for SUSE Enterprise Linux 9. This high level of security-- also known as EAL4 -- is important to government agencies.

On the clustering front, Novell also announced that it has signed a strategic alliance with clustering software ISV PolyServe under which Novell will resell and provide support for Polyserve Matrix Server virtual storage and clustering software. PolyServe's software offers a symmetric clustered file system for data sharing and storage virtualization.

Meanwhile, the company enhanced its Novell Clustering Services for OES, which offers business continuity services and allows users to create a clustered mix of Netware and Linux with interoperability and failover between the platforms.

To enable data center management, Novell plans to exploit the Yast tools of SUSE and intends to provide later this year a new access management product based on XAML for Linux that will provide federated services.

Novell and Red Hat will compete aggressively to provide enterprise customers with data center services such as storage, virtualization, security and management.

Executives from Novell said they are aggressively moving ahead with Linux for the data center but they haven't forgotten the needs of its loyal Netware customer and partners, who are standing at the crossroads between proprietary and open source software.

At LinuxWorld Expo, Ron Hovsepian, president of Novell North America, said the company is training channel partners on both OES and SUSE Enterprise Linux 9 and is not pressuring partners to push Linux over NetWare. "I want them to do what's best for the customer," Hovsepian told CRN. "They have a choice."