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March 22, 2005

Novell targets Linux at small businesses

Novell has launched a new package of its Linux, collaboration and management technologies targeted at the needs of small businesses, and has made a host of other Linux-related announcements.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Waltham, Massachusetts-based Linux and identity management vendor will release Novell Linux Small Business Suite 9 at the end of the month, bringing together its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Novell Linux Desktop, GroupWise, eDirectory and iManager products in a single package.

We’re bringing Linux to the small business market. With Novell’s suite, small businesses get a secure, reliable and complete solution that provides them with big business benefits on a small business budget, commented Jack Messman, Novell’s chairman and chief executive.

The company’s director of Linux solutions EMEA, Brian Green, added that as well as packaging the technologies together, Novell has also introduced an integrated installer to make it easier for small businesses to get the various offerings up and running.

What we’ve had to do – we didn’t want to take any functionality away – but we have made it easier to implement, he said. We’ve kept all the tools but included an integrated installer. What small businesses are looking for are tools to deploy and manage.

The product will be available at the end of the month through Novell’s channel partners with prices starting at $475 per five user licenses, while the suite provides support for up to 100 licensed users and three servers.

At its BrainShare conference in Salt Lake City, Novell also announced that the company will pre-bundle its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server product free of charge with the next version of its GroupWise collaboration platform.

Due for release this summer the next version of GroupWise, known as Sequoia, will provide support for Windows, Macintosh and Linux clients, as well as Microsoft Corp’s Outlook, and new interfaces for integrated GroupWise with service-oriented architectures via SOAP and XML.

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Sequoia will be followed by two further GroupWise releases over the next three years, with Aspen set for release in 2006, and Cedar in 2008. The company also announced a new 10-year extended support commitment to GroupWise.

Linux is also at the core of Novell’s ZENworks systems management initiatives, with the company announcing that with the release of ZENworks 7, scheduled for the second quarter, the company will enable businesses to manage Windows clients from a Linux server. Organizations can now centrally manage their Windows and Linux assets from their choice of server platforms, said Messman.

ZENworks 7 will also include the recently announced ZENworks 7 Linux Management, providing management for both SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux, as well as policy-driven automation enabling administrators to define business processes and policies and then automatically apply them to devices or groups of devices.

Novell also announced a new initiative to boost open source independent software vendors.

Known as Market Start, the new initiative will provide open source software companies with access to Novell’s distribution channels and support infrastructure, as well as assistance in taking open source innovations to market, and potentially also co-branding opportunities.

Green cited firewall and network security software vendor Astaro as a company that it had worked with to develop Market Start. In February Novell released a new gateway security management software product in conjunction with Astaro.

Based on Novell’s SUSE Linux operating system, Novell Security Manager is a gateway appliance software package and includes Linux security specialist Astaro’s firewall, virtual private networking, intrusion protection, virus protection, spam protection, and content filtering technologies.

Finally, Novell also announced an expansion of its relationship with open source middleware vendor JBoss, through which Novell will participate in, and contribute code to, the JBoss Enterprise Middleware System.

Novell will also increase the amount of open source code, including JEMS components, in its Novell exteNd service oriented architecture solution, which is already scheduled to include the JBoss Application Server with its next release, due at the end of the year.

The company plans to contribute its Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) portlet container and portlet library to help accelerate the delivery of JBoss Portal to market, while using JEMS as part of its new Identity and Application Services Foundations.

The two foundations will be made available as a set of modular software development kits to provide Novell’s hardware and software partners with an integrated security and application services stack through which they can build products that take advantage of an aggregated view of identity information.

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