Novell Ratchets Up Linux Support

It could be said that Novell has unofficially christened November "Linux Month." The embattled software maker has placed its eggs squarely in the Linux basket, having announced its acquisition of the popular German Linux vendor SuSE this past Tuesday and the general availability of Ximian Red Carpet Enterprise 2 earlier this week.

Buying SuSE enables Novell to offer a full array of Linux products and services from enterprise servers to the desktop. It also makes Novell the sole billion-dollar Linux distributor with a presence felt around the globe.

Novell will not be standing alone; IBM has elected to extend current commercial agreements for the continued support of SuSE Linux on its eServer product line and middleware. Big Blue will also be involved with marketing the operating system.

"The powerful new management features and broad Linux OS support in this version extend Novell's leadership in Linux software management," said Alan Nugent, Novell chief technology officer. "By lowering operating costs and removing barriers to Linux implementation, we have made it even easier for customers to install, update and maintain the fastest-growing operating system on the market."

Ximian Red Carpet Enterprise services entered an open beta in September, offering early adopters a glimpse at the first Novell-branded release of Ximian wares.

In its deliverable, Novell has married the centralized software management services of Ximian's Red Carpet with Nterprise. Nterprise is designed to offer file, directory, print, management and messaging services in a single package. The software is fully compatible with SuSE Linux Enterprise Server distributions, as well as Red Hat products.

According to claims printed in press materials, customers can deploy Red Carpet Enterprise in as little as 30 minutes.

Novell's primary message being conveyed is that Red Carpet Enterprise 2 simplifies and automates the management and adoption of software designed for Linux all while keeping costs in check. More specifically, Red Carpet Enterprise provides: package distribution and installation, full dependency resolution, rollback and repairs capabilities, inventories, as well as reports. Caching servers are also used to transfer packages across poor network connections more effectively.

Customers can purchase Ximian Red Carpet Enterprise 2 at a cost of $200 USD per managed system. More information is available at Red Carpet Enterprise's official product Web site, and through Novell's Resource Management page.

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