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Novell as Open Source Hero?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the faster-than-speeding-bullet dept.

Businesses 283

ccnull writes "Who's the #2 Linux vendor in the world? Would you believe Novell? Infoworld takes a look at this long-struggling giant and how it has (and hasn't) reinvented itself as an open source company in the face of utterly losing the LAN market to Microsoft." The piece argues: "But even though it seems to be holding all the right cards, Novell faces tough odds. In recent years, tough competition from Microsoft and dwindling support from third-party developers have caused Novell's once-loyal base to look elsewhere for infrastructure needs. Unless it can win back the loyalty of the industry, Novell's new, Linux-centric message could fall on deaf ears."

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fp9st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705182)


Fuck all that Eastern shit... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705225)

The West is the Best.

Re:Fuck all that Eastern shit... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705236)

One problem with that bitch - the further west you go, the further east you end up. Suck that, you fucking goat twat.

Re:Fuck all that Eastern shit... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705252)

... in Japan!

Mono (4, Interesting)

Burb (620144) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705183)

It's an interesting point of view expressed in the article. But although it mentions Miguel de Icaza, there's no mention of Mono. Not that there necessarily has to be a mention of Mono, of course, but it struck me as a strange omission. I'm very interested in the mono project and I got the impression that it was regarded as quite significant to Novell alongside the other Linux-type offerings.

Re:Mono (0, Offtopic)

JPriest (547211) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705212)

They just need to package portage with SuSE Linux. rpm is horrible, gentoo's install method is time consuming, why not take the best of both worlds?

Does portage not scale?

Re:Mono (4, Informative)

bruthasj (175228) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705276)

google for apt, yum, ximian's red carpet, and suse's yast.

Re:Mono (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705384)

It's not RPM that's the problm, it's YAST. Almost gave up on SuSE until someone pointed me to the apt for Suse [] project.

There's a nice Case study of upgrading from Suse 8.2 -> 9.0 using APT [] . Didn't quite work as cleanly as a major Debian upgrade, but sure as hell beats re-installing the whold OS (as redhat and suse's yast installer seem to enjoy)

Re:Mono (2, Interesting)

quigonn (80360) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705392)

Isn't portage the stuff where the source is downloaded and then compiled? Sorry, but this is way too time-consuming. Why spend significant amounts of time for compiling when your Linux distributor can do that for you. And no, "optimized" compilations (like many Gentoo people do them [] ) usually don't have any measurable performance improvements.

Re:Gentoo (2, Insightful)

jobsagoodun (669748) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705424)

For me, it hasn't been optimization, but ease of use. I can't count the number of times with RedHat or Suse when I've wanted (for example) Apache+PHP+DB2+SSL or something, and its a right arse about if the distro designers didn't anticipate it and you have to get the source code anyhow, and configure it all by hand. With gentoo, I've found its much easier to get packages to play together nicley.

Re:Mono (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705233)

"there's no mention of Mono. Not that there necessarily has to be a mention of Mono"

What about mono [] ?

Re:Mono (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705508)

Here's a mention of Mono: C# for Dummies []

Re:Mono (2, Insightful)

k98sven (324383) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705568)

Well, Miguel helped create Gnome and Midnight Commander too, didn't see them mentioned either..

Seriously though, I don't think Mono is that important, yet. The main reason, I believe, for buying Ximian was their Desktop and Connector products, whereas the Mono part was a strategic investment.

Maybe because mono is already dead :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705614)

Icaza is MS zealot, ok we know that since he just claim it himself. But why some people still spend some hours at coding this stuff ?

They know they will never manage to be complient if the Microsoft platform because specification are not available (but the core spec under ECMA), and they are trying to shoot a moving hare ...

As a fact, this mono is a dead-born project.

Effective? (4, Insightful)

deutschemonte (764566) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705190)

Something about Novell's push to be a Linux/OSS company has not been effective.

Evidence? When I say "Red Hat" what do you think of first? When I say "Novell" what do you think of first?

They really need to get to the point where people instantly think "Linux company" instead of "failed network company" when they hear the Novell name.

Re:Effective? (4, Insightful)

dorward (129628) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705209)

When I say "Red Hat" what do you think of first? When I say "Novell" what do you think of first?

They really need to get to the point where people instantly think "Linux company" instead of "failed network company" when they hear the Novell name.

Give it time. Red Hat has

  • Been doing Linux a lot longer
  • Has never been anything but a Linux company

Besides - some of their brands do get people instantly thinking "Linux company".

Re:Effective? (5, Interesting)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705456)

Actually, when i think about Novell, i think about Ximian (and especially Evolution) and how that piece of software can become much better/bigger/worth more. I'm looking forward to the 2.0 release, which features (from the site):

* integrated connectivity to Novell GroupWise
* integrated connectivity to Microsoft Exchange
* improved offline support for IMAP accounts
* numerous calendar improvements,
* support for S/MIME, enhanced contact management
* Gaim instant messaging integration
* Improved desktop integration

Especially the integration with MS Exchange is somewhat unique for a linux application. If Novell can provide a linux-based desktop that integrates perfectly with a MS Windows environment, then they are a step ahead of RH&Co and are close to becoming (at least my) Open Source Hero.

Re:Effective? (2, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705817)

And don't forget handling an alternative user mailbox directory, the "~/mail" setting necessary to make IMAP play nice with pine run locally on the IMAP server.

Re:Effective? (3, Informative)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705890)

* integrated connectivity to Microsoft Exchange

Technically this is true, but the connector basically uses Microsoft Outlook Web Access via HTTP. Nice toy, but I wouldn't want to use it in anger.

Re:Effective? (5, Insightful)

welshwaterloo (740554) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705213)

This change of mindshare is never going to happen overnight though.. Things are still changing apace at Novell - changing all their desktops to Linux, making the next generation of Netware (and *alllll* their other software available on Linux.)

I wish them all the best.

Re:Effective? (5, Interesting)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705278)

When I say "Red Hat" what do you think of first?
When I say "Novell" what do you think of first?

But which company is worth more?

Surprisingly, they're both about exactly the same. 2.71Billion for Novell and 2.76 Billion for Red Hat according to Yahoo Finance today.

Not that market-cap means a lot, but it was surprising to me. I suspect it surprises both groups - open source fans will be surprised to see the "failed network company" be worth so much - especially considering Red Hat was once worth 10X as much. And I suspect old-school-corporate types would be surprized to see a bunch of Linux hippies being worth as much as a giant like Novell.

Re:Effective? (4, Informative)

NaDrew (561847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705302)

They really need to get to the point where people instantly think "Linux company" instead of "failed network company" when they hear the Novell name.
Perhaps Novell should pull a Network Associates or NationsBank move and change their name to SUSE (NetAss bought McAfee, changed combined company's name [recently] to McAfee because nobody knew what "Network Associates" was; NationsBank bought Bank of America, similar aftermath). If Novell wants to be taken seriously as a Linux company, taking the name of their main acquisition would be a good start.

Re:Effective? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705335)

Perhaps Novell should...change their name to SUSE

Compare Novell's brand image [] with Open Source's brand image []

Re:Effective? (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705371)

They'd be repeating what Crapdera/SCOrdure did.


Re:Effective? (1)

NaDrew (561847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705398)

They'd be repeating what Crapdera/SCOrdure did.
Good point, but one gang of idiots doesn't invalidate the idea. Making the better-regarded name the public face of the company--or at least the Linux arm of the company--could only help at this point.

For me, I'll likely be giving SUSE 9.1 a try within the next couple of weeks, and it doesn't matter one whit that it's actually "Novell-SUSE" or whatever.

Re:Effective? (2, Insightful)

hdparm (575302) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705409)

Although this would seem outrageously radical move, it could actually work better than a long known brand name which became a symbol of failure. They were pretty agressive with aquisitions in open source world, why not just apply that on the marketing level?

I wish them well. More strong Linux/OSS companies can only be good for overall computing experience.

Re:Effective? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705588)

That might indeed be a good idea. It sure helps me; I didn't even know Novell owned SuSE until just now!

Owning a linux company gives a lot more "instant credibility" than just trying to convert your old stuff to run on linux (which is what I thought Novell was doing before).

Re:Effective? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705632)

"Blah, blah, terrorism, evil, blah blah. Now watch this drive."

Given the timing of the delivery and the juxtaposition of the serious and non-serious ideas, computations indicate that there is a 99.32% probability that President Bush delivered what is known as a 'joke'. You should familiarize yourself with the concept.

According to your signature, presidents should neither attempt to make jokes nor attempt to play golf on a golf course after being pestered by the press. The only conclusion is that both yourself and Michael Moore are humorless dolts.

Re:Effective? (1)

kinema (630983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705850)

Maybe they should do as so many have in the oil industry (i.e. ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and ConocoPhillips) and just concatenate the names of the two companies. NovelSuSE or maybe SuSENovel (I prefer the former).

Re:Effective? (5, Interesting)

stripyd (614714) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705313)

When I say "Novell" what do you think of first?

that "failed network company" who still pulled in over a billion dollars in revenue last year, and whose massive deployments now look like having an upgrade path to GNU/Linux? :-)

What do we think of when we say "SuSE"?

I'm sure there's many people who are happy they haven't started branding "Novell Enterprise Linux". "Entwicklung" is such a great word...

Re:Effective? (2, Funny)

PabloJones (456560) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705318)

When I say "Novell" what do you think of first?

The crappy Novell Netware client stuff they used on the computers back in high school.

Re:Effective? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705354)

When I say "Red Hat" what do you think of first?
Hippies. []

When I say "Novell" what do you think of first?
Big Business. []

Re:Effective? (5, Interesting)

AVee (557523) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705364)

Evidence? When I say "Red Hat" what do you think of first?

Linux company, one in a dozen, happens to be the biggest.

When I say "Novell" what do you think of first?

Technically superior, way underappreciated.

At least, thats what I think.
I feel Novell is technically better than RedHat. The application support and the customers just aren't there. Anyone who has used Novell seriously will agree that there is no equivalent to GroupWise, ZENWorks or eDirectory on the Linux platform and there are only lower quality alternatives for the windows platform. Bringing this to Linux could make Linux it a serious option for larger companies...

Re:Effective? (4, Interesting)

Albanach (527650) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705373)

Evidence? When I say "Red Hat" what do you think of first? When I say "Novell" what do you think of first?

Eh? what does this have to do with the price of cheese? Novell Inc has been around since 1979 - Linus was still running around in shorts then.

Most folk probably think of Novell as a rather large company specialising in networking software - that's exactly what they are. They like linux because it's an alternative to Microsoft, and over in the Microsoft world there's a bigger company trying to sell copycat versions of many of Novell's programs. In the linux world there's a lot of demand for enterprise grade networking and groupware software.

When you think of IBM, does Jo Bloggs think of a Linux company? I wouldn't expect so - they too like linux because it fits in with their core products and strategies.

Novell are a major Linux company now because they own SuSE and Ximian. Now they are Linux companies, they just happen to be subsidiaries of Novell Inc.

Re:Effective? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705421)

Linus was still running around in shorts then.

Uh, Linus is still running around in shorts. What, do you think any Linux company would have a stuffy white-shirt-and-tie dress code like IBM?

What? IBM uses linus? And allows non-white-shrits now? nevermind....

Re:Effective? (1)

penguin king (673171) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705531)

Well I have to say when I hear Novell I think Linux company. Many other people probably will now to that it's hit /. Only reason I know is that over here in NZ they came to our LUG meeting and gave us a big talk about what they were doing and told us about plans for the future with SuSe and Ximian.

So I think once they get it into the headlines, and if they are doing the face to face contact elsewhere in the world, Linux users and others will start seeing them as Opensource Linux company.

Re:Effective? (2, Funny)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705640)

"failed network company"

hey, I think "ancient network giant". Hmm it looks like a good name for a nethack monster :)

Re:Effective? (5, Insightful)

PaulusMagnus (797138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705873)

I do agree that Novell's branding is atrocious. Even at the height of their supremacy nobody really knew Novell's name, their logo or what they did. It was like being Seagate, techies knew them, ordinary people didn't know and a lot of IT purchasing then and now is still done by people with limited technical knowledge. Just as it was "safe" to buy IBM in the 80s, it's now "safe" to buy Microsoft.

I've been around Netware for 12 years and CNE'd from v3 to v6. They set the standards for certification, which everybody else has now copied. You also needed to know your stuff to get the CNE, something that isn't necessary for MCSE. I know because I got my first MCSE (on NT) from reading books and never touching the OS.

There are, allegedly, millions of Netware users out there. Having been involved in large Netware and MS environments the idea of scaling AD to work across the world on a 30,000 user system frightens me to death. I know I can do it with NDS but the flexibility of AD isn't there and would be highly unstable and be far more support intensive. The kludges Microsoft use to get their software to work is a pain to support but it looks nice and has a setup wizard so people get sucked in.

Therefore, I see that Novell's move into Linux is a very good thing as it gives an option for these large global networks to move from Netware/Intel to Linux.

Most people in IT also except that Linux is going to arrive, one day. However, the supportability of Linux is the downside of any corporate installation. Now we have Novell's support infrastructure backing Linux, everything is perfectly positioned for Linux to enter the corporate marketplace. I, for one, intend to certify in the Linux direction so that I can ride the crest of this wave as I'm confident that Netware to Linux migrations will increase in popularity and that in a few years time we'll have AD/Win2003 to Linux migrations happening.

Is Ximian dead? (5, Insightful)

ablaze (222561) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705214)

Ximian is dying a slow dead after Novell has acquired it last year:
The next version of Evolution is called "Novell Evolution", their Website is redirected to Novell and there hasn't been any significant update to Ximian Desktop for a while. XD2 is the only product labelled "Ximian" anyways.
I really would love to see some kind of roadmap or at least some kind of statement about Ximian Desktop. (As Novell provided for Evolution and Mono).

After they acquired Ximian they talked about keeping Ximian together and their products still being worked on. As I see it this is not the case and I feel very sad to lose Ximian eventually.

Re:Is Ximian dead? (2, Interesting)

salimma (115327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705539)

You could hardly expect them to continue packaging Ximian Desktop, at least for other platforms. Now that Novell owns its own Linux distro why would it be packaging a GNOME desktop for its competitors? Besides, Red Hat/Fedora has quite a nice GNOME desktop set-up; and packaging for Debian is rather hard since most of their desktop users are not staying with the stable Debian 3.0.

It would be quite interesting to see if they pull the same move on SuSE and call the next Linux release 'Novell Linux X' or something similar though. I'm curious to see what the desktop'd look like, having heard claims that it would bring the best of both KDE and GNOME together.

Re:Is Ximian dead? (1)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705670)

It would be quite interesting to see if they pull the same move on SuSE and call the next Linux release 'Novell Linux X' or something similar though. I'm curious to see what the desktop'd look like, having heard claims that it would bring the best of both KDE and GNOME together.

Rebrading SuSE would be very very stupid, as SuSE has very highy brand awareness, especially in Europe (and by that I mean mainland Europe, particularly Germany - suprise surprise).

Novell is releasing their own Novell Linux Destkop, which is their own Gnome-based WM running on SuSE. Having seen a very brief preview, it looks similar to XD2, with the UI altered to be more "Windowsesque"

Re:Is Ximian dead? (1)

puddpunk (629383) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705549)

Just thought you should know:

Novell is combining Ximian Desktop 2 with SUSE linux (8.2 i think) to create "Novel Linux Desktop 1.0". This is looking to be their enterprise desktop product as Ximian Desktop is very easy to use and quite nice.

This is coming from a long-time KDE fanboy (but not going anywhere :) so listen to what I say!

The guy who came to speak at our LUG told us that the SUSE Personal/Pro distros will keep going to serve as a testing ground for their server software.


SUSE (0, Redundant)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705215)

"Who's the #2 Linux vendor in the world? Would you believe Novell?"

Maybe it's because they acquired SUSE [] ?

Re:SUSE (5, Insightful)

toofanx (679091) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705344)

Yes, that could well be the only reason they are #2 at something. This is also mentioned in the article. Apparently happened quite recently - Jan 2004.

What worries me is that acquisitions tend to have lots of problems. I myself was working in a .com that got acquired by a .bomb. It was a terrible experience. It would be a pity if SuSE went that way. We need to watch SuSE for the next year or so, and see what happens.

I would really hate it if Red Hat becomes the undisputed champion of open source. I do not hate Red Hat, but I dislike "undisputed champions".

Novell will do alright in the Linux market (4, Interesting)

eadz (412417) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705228)

They have something RedHat don't, sales offices world wide. They are really pushing the linux message, and are more free software (in beer and freedom) than the pre-Novell SuSE was : open source yast, free downloads for SuSE 9.1. Also they are porting most of their applications to run on linux.

Re:Novell will do alright in the Linux market (5, Insightful)

w1r3sp33d (593084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705512)

I hope everyone realizes how important this point is. I work for a large consulting firm that deploys mostly ms servers, with a little red hat as required by our clients. Every engineer has at least one version of linux running on their laptop, as well as several sales and even management types. Nearly every engineer has at least a little novell experience and generally trusts the company (unlike ms who screws you over on lic, security, and bad updates) because novell always released a finished product (except netware 5.0 but I think most of us have forgiven them.) They are a nos company with a mainframe like mindset when it comes to product development, yes I think that is a VERY good thing for the people who depend on it. Now that novell is onboard many of us are switching (or adding because you will never get my slackware!) suse to our machines and following the news on novells other products being offered for linux servers, this will become our go to market strategy. I have not seen any reason to create a linux arm for the firm come from the red hat camp, but novell clearly does.

Re:Novell will do alright in the Linux market (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705933)

I'm going to be modded a troll for this, but what the hell.

You're quite right, Novell have a lot. But right now a lot of this is potential, not actual sales. We all hear this being the "Year of the Linux Desktop" (as was last year, as next year probably will be...).

I can see an IT revolution occurring in the next 3-5 years, as all the predictions of everything being web-based either come to fruition or come to nothing, Microsoft invent ever more onerous licenses and the various KDE/Gnome/(insert desktop environment here) developers improve their products still further. But, as with any revolution, there will be winners, losers, and also-rans-who-could-have-been-winners. It won't be easy for Novell, but they could easily be winners.

Unfortunately, they could just as easily be also-rans. Whatever happens, there will be a lot of hard work involved. Should be interesting to watch.

"Developers! Developers! Developers!" (4, Insightful)

Quirk (36086) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705242)

The article points out the crux of the situation.

"...the developer community has pretty much abandoned them."
"...With the shift in focus to Linux, Novell gains a huge developer base and not just from the open source community. Commercial vendors that support their products on Linux become selling points as well."

Steve Ballmer's famous hissy fit over the trial and tribulations of keeping developers happy spoke to Microsoft's efforts to keep developers on board. Ah they're such a fickle bunch. But the move to open source seems to be a good ploy to bring onboard an entire active community.

Re:"Developers! Developers! Developers!" (2, Interesting)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705814)

Yep, this is going to be a big deal. I did some NLM (Novell Loadable Module) development for a while, and it was a really crappy environment to work in. One of the reasons people started throwing Windows boxes into the server racks.

And it's not just developers, it's also all the back-office tech guys that have been around since Novell owned the LAN. They know how much more difficult it is supporting a lot of Windows boxes than it is a lot of Netware boxes (plus you don't need as many). So these guys are now thinking maybe they can reduce some of those clunky Windows machines with Novell/Linux/SuSE alternatives.

The big hope is that those .NET developers (often pushed into that environment by gullible managers) can deploy those apps on Mono. Lots of folks see IIS (whether justified or not) as major vulnerability, security wise. From my experience, deploying an IIS installation that is both secure and will support everything the developers need is a major challenge. If Novell can make it happen with SuSE/Apache/Mono, they would have a lot of fans.

But the question is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705244)

Do they run Linux? And can they imagine a bewoulf cluster of Insensitive Clods in Soviet Russia, when all their base belongs to the GNAA?

RIP... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705247)

Novell and BSD should get together and cry...

Re:RIP...Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705481)

I should no better to pick on the BSD Gods.... they have so much "Mod Power!" Darn... foil'd again....

PS. I'm not a TROLL...just want to make a jok.. Ok maybe a little troll....

Novell has a good name with their customers. (5, Interesting)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705256)

The company I'm at now is mostly a .NET shop, but with a handful of skunkworks linux/mono projects going on, either as prototypes or proofs-of-concept.

One if these was discussed with a rather large customer (government) who was surprised and very favoribly impressed to hear that the product was based on "Novell's Linux, and Novell's implementation of .NET".

Their core infrastructure - many dozens of offices across the state - is all based on Novell, who they have a lot of confidence in. I think there's a good chance they'll be wanting the "Novell .NET" solution when we ship the final product.

Re:Novell has a good name with their customers. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705322)

Good thing your sales guy didn't pitch it as "some mexican kid named Miguel's hobby project that's running on Deb and Ian's Unstable OS"

Re:Novell has a good name with their customers. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705462)

Grandparent wrote: "Novell's Linux ...Novell's .NET"
Perent wrote: "some mexican kid...'s hobby...Deb and Ian's Unstable OS [Debian/Unstable]"

Funny? Seems more insightful.

This amateur image is probably the biggest problem with Linux in the workplace today. It's also IMHO the most valuable thing that Novell can bring to Linux. Novell having (developing/supporting/backing) a linux distro means even more to business than IBM doing peace-love-linux-graffiti-vandalism. Finally a Linux from a vendor my upper management will trust.

Open source hero? Bah! (3, Interesting)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705257)

The open source heroes I know aren't Novell...Try PJ with Groklaw or all the linux-zealot /.-ers...(Yes, me included :) ) A better title needed indeed....

Anywho, if anything, I see SuSE and open source being Novell's savior, although it's previous history does not seem to indicate so...With the quality and issues with Fedora/Red Hat, SuSE has a remote (remote damn it, don't you all jump my @$$ for saying there are problems with Fedora, if you don't believe me, read previous /. posts about such issues) chance of taking the Linux lead. Novell/SuSE has had some successes recently (McDonalds, others, it's late and I won't bother to search) With the article stating 8/10 companies looking to upgrade in 04-05, it just might happen......


Who's the #2 Linux vendor in the world? (5, Funny)

NaDrew (561847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705259)

You're damn right!

Who is the vendor that would face Microsoft and SCO?
Can ya dig it?

Who's the vendor that won't cop out
when there're lawsuits and FUD all about?
Right on.

You see this Novell is a bad mother--
(shut your mouth!)
But I'm talkin' about Novell!
(then we can dig it)

It's a complicated company
But no one understands it but Ray Noorda

Depends on marketing strategy. (4, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705261)

Novell has mostly been geek centric while Microsoft has gone straight for the boss (who often dont give a rats behind about what the techies say). I think Novell needs to change its strategy and start making its name with the bosses too. Why not measure ROI and TCO on Novell vs. Windows? A real comparison where things like viruses and the likes is taken into the calculation. Then an ad campaign touting how much it costs to stay on Microsoft compared to migrating. Nothing appeals to managers and bosses like money.

Here in sweden most people dont even know what novell is even if most of them have been working on it, they just think its some extension to their workstation. Novell needs to get the word out to common people and not just us techies. We dont decide much nowadays (we bitch and moan but it isnt our call in the end).

Re:Depends on marketing strategy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705498)

> I think Novell needs to change its
> strategy and start making its name
> with the bosses too.

Oh please God no!

'nuff said.

Well, yes.... (1, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705263)

Would you believe Novell?

Well, yes. Yes, I would. They just bought SuSE.

Owners of SuSE are second-largest Linux supplier: really, who'd have thought it? I eagerly await Slashdot's coverage of papal philosophical leanings and silvan ursine defecatory habits.

Re:Well, yes.... (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705662)

I eagerly await Slashdot's coverage of papal philosophical leanings and silvan ursine defecatory habits.


Should Novell have lost? (2, Interesting)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705304)

If Novell's products (Netware, WordPerfect, etc) were to be judged strictly on technical merits, how would they fare? Would an OpenSource Netware unburdened by ip restrictions and large implementation costs be widely adopted?

If these would be greatly beneficial and widely adopted, it seems odd that they haven't been more aggressively developed by Novell.

If their exit from the marketplace is a blessing in disguise, then it seems almost inevitable that Novell had to find a different product line or revenue stream.

Novell hasn't really been one of the vendors that I followed (due to their poor mac compatabilities) back in the dark ages of proprietary software so I'm very open to opinions of others on these matters.

Re:Should Novell have lost? (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705509)

WordPerfect a Novell product? I think Corel would disagree...

Re:Should Novell have lost? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705637)

Hmm... All I know about Novell is that my high school used it for distributing applications (i.e. you open the program and it downloads it from the server), and it sucked horribly (on 100MHz Pentiums running Win95 and a 10baseT lan using *hubs*).

I don't think the suckage was really Novell's fault (more like clueless admins + zero $), but it still left a bad taste in my mouth for anything related to Novell -- especially since distributing applications per use seems like a horrible idea to me, so by extension Novell is horrible for coming up with it.

Re:Should Novell have lost? (1)

Jim Norton (453484) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705939)

The software you are referring to is ZENworks. That is only one of many ways to do it (here we deploy the application before we give it to the user. When giving them new applications, they will be installed automatically during the next NAL refresh)

Evolution 2 seems to become all good! (3, Informative)

ablaze (222561) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705323)

There is a blog on Novell Evolution 2 development. Very nice info on the status of that long expected update. Unfortunately it is now called "Novell Evolution":

Re:Evolution 2 seems to become all good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705669)

Why is that unfortunate?

It is NOVELL's evolution after all. It's just brand identification, does that change the quality or the functioning of the software any?

Well for the name change... no. But hopefully Novell is doing good for the software.

It's still the same thing. They could name it "rose-ass email 3000 from Novell" and it wouldn't make a ounce of difference. Evolution by any other name will still kick Outlook Express's ass.

Re:Evolution 2 seems to become all good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705698)

And Gnomemeeting is being integrated with the Evolution Data Sever(EDS) try it out at

Novell - The silent giant (5, Insightful)

DrSoCold (703785) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705356)

Let's not be too hasty in cursing novel here. Remember, this is a long established company with a billion dollars in cash and no debts. Unlike Microsoft, Novell is a company that is very much in touch with it's community and always has been. Microsoft takes your cash, ships you a pony product then kicks you in the balls whilst the bells of the cash register ring. I have met so many Novell experts over the years who love the company and love the products and actually solved problems using them. Brainshare, Cool solutions, CNE, classic Novell stuff. I have never met a proper Microsoft expert and don't know if any exist. People tend to just support Windows 'cos it's an easy way to get a job' not because they love it and believe in the technology and the company. Novell breeds die hards, so does Linux, it's a match made in heaven, give it a chance.

Re:Novell - The silent giant (1, Flamebait)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705673)

You could rephrase that to say "people tend to support Windows because it's the most rational economic decision for them, while people who love Novell or Linux are irrational fanboys who use it because it might be the best at some point in the future"

It sucks, but it's true.


Irrational Fanboy

Re:Novell - The silent giant (2)

DrSoCold (703785) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705827)

rational - With business destroying security holes being discovered on an almost weekly basis, Windows as an enterprise platform is not my rational choice. The main problem I found with Windows was not the bug ridden and security flawed code but more the technical in-ability of the system administrators assigned the job of implementing and maintaining the software. You can get 25k per year jobs supporting Windows without knowing hardly anything about networks, security or computers in general. Try blagging a un*x or NetWare job, the sysadmin will bust you in minutes.

economic - Licensing costs for Microsoft products are the most expensive in the market, look at Office!. All you get for your money is girlie programs and a nice big hug and goodbye. And a licence is ALL you get, you do not own the software, it is not yours. At least with linux it's the closest you can get to actually owning software which you didn't write yourself.

I am more than happy for Windows to stay in the Market, because it is kids stuff and it leaves the big boys toys like un*x/Linux/NetWare to the pro's. The windows (experts?) have a common goal:

'one day I will be good enough to support Linux....'

Cool! (-1, Redundant)

Ath (643782) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705369)

Another "Novell is dead (or dying)" article.

I guess an Apple one cannot be far behind.

Re:Cool! (1)

Frit Mock (708952) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705448)

Oh, after the Apple one, 2 or 3 M$ dying Articles will follow ... I am pretty sure!

Help, we all will die !!!!

Still a lot of restructuring ahead (4, Interesting)

Twid (67847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705397)

As an ex-Novell employee (pre-SuSE acquisition), I think Novell still has a lot of restructuring to do.

Before the SuSE and Ximian acquisition, Novell was going to focus on "web services" and spent a lot of money on a merger with Cambridge Technology Partners and an acquisition of Silverstream. Now, with Ximian they get Mono as well, but I don't really see a coherent revenue stream strategy coming out of Mono/Silverstream/SuSE (yet). Novell has a staggering product list right now.

There are:
- All of the old pre-Linux products like NetWare, from when Novell's strategy was network operating systems
- All of the identity products like eDirectory from when Novell's strategy was identity management
- The ZENworks product line for desktop and server management
- Four, count 'em, four different collaboration products, all from different sources (GroupWise, NetMail, Evolution, OpenExchange)
- The KDE-based SuSE Linux and the Gnome-based Ximian Desktop
- The rebranded Silverstream app server along with Mono

It's really quite a mess, and I haven't yet seen any strategy to clean it up. Novell's company page still pitches the "One Net" vision, which is a holdover from the Eric Schmidt-as-CEO days. I'd like to see a strategy for how Novell is going to bring all this together.

I'm still a Novell stockholder and I wish Novell the best of luck, I'd just like a little more clarity about how this is all going to come together.

Re:Still a lot of restructuring ahead (3, Informative)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705527)

Actually, the do have a clear roadmap for consolidating all these products, and it goes something like this: eDirectory, ZENworks, GroupWise, technologies acquired from silverstream and so on are all going to be consolidated into one product group (the name of which I forget) which can be hosted on the Novell Kernel (in the short term at least) and on the soon to be released SuSE Enterprise Server 9. GroupWise Client and Evolution will be developed in parellel (although I suspect in time Evolution will become the core product in this area, as they are working hard to build groupwise functionality into Evolution II). SuSE will continue development of their own products exactly as they have done before (and to the same schedule) hence OpenExchange (or SLOX) will continue to be developed and supported (it doesn't compete with GroupWise anyway, they are playing for different markets). This also includes all of SuSE's other products on which much of novell's offering will be based. Okay, so maybe it's not clear, but there it is.

Re:Still a lot of restructuring ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705692)

Umm... They all work together well on a single OS, Linux? (except for some of the e-mail stuff, maybe. donno).

That's Novell's point. Lots of many different software technologies, combined together on one universal platform (server or Desktop, Linux is better then most things out their).

You pay Novell, and they can replace your entire infrastructure with Linux-based solutions and rid yourself from Windows forever.

Or not. You want Windows desktops? Sure it'll still work. You want a couple Windows Servers, that'll be fine too. Whatever you want, how you want it. Just give use the money and the time and we will make it work for you. Linux is the glue that holds these technologies together.

That's what Novell should be saying.

Trying (5, Informative)

Seven001 (750590) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705413)

You can't say they aren't trying. They certainly got my attention recently, and I never paid any attention to them before. I signed up for a free "Linux Technical Resource Kit", from them. It includes, quoting them:

This comprehensive Novell Linux collection includes the following on 3 DVDs (10 GB):

- SUSE Linux Professional 9.1 (Bootable Installation DVD)
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 (ISO Installation Images)
- SUSE Linux Professional 8.2 (Installation ISO images for use with Ximiam Desktop)
- Ximian Desktop 2.0 Evaluation (ISO Image)
- Red Carpet 2.0.2 Evaluation (ISO Image)
- GroupWise for Linux 6.5.1 - Server, Client & Messenger (ISO Images)
- Novell Nterprise Linux Services 1.0 (ISO Image & NLS Companion CD)
- And more...

I look forward to trying out SUSE Enterprise Server 8, as I am / was considering moving to Fedora. Sorry, if you're interested, they aren't offering it anymore. Link Here []

Re:Trying (2, Informative)

Builder (103701) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705797)

Don't judge them too hastily on SLES 8 (SuSE Linux Enterprise Server). SLES 9 has gone gold recently, and the Beta's and the Release Candidates were FANTASTIC! Their admin / management tools are _far_ superior to the comparitave Red Hat Enterprise Linux tools.

Another thing to consider... Enterprise products such as SLES and RHAS will have a 5 year supported lifecycle. That means that you'll still be able to get security patches in 5 years time. Can you say that about your current version of Fedora ?

Novell (5, Informative)

askegg (599634) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705420)

Novell's strengths are no longer in the Network Operating System space, which is what made them. Nowdays their focus is on getting your network to act as one, regardless of the underlying operatings system or applications.

Take a look at eDirectory, which is far superior to MS AD and runs on almost any OS. Identity Manager (formerly DirXML) can syncronise information across your enterprise.

Zenworks delivers applications/patches to your workstations, servers, laptops and handhelds based on who you are and what relationship you have with the company (employee, division, position, customer, business partner, etc). Furthermore, it does not care how you connect!

Adding linux to the mix gives existing Netware installations an alternative future and piggybacks off OSS - smart move. For some interesting reading have a look at Open Enterprise Server - all your favorite Novell utilities on a linux platform. I for one will be making use of this....

Re:Novell (1)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705484)

You're right about Directory. I have some serious problems with both ZenWorks and Directory when having to "integrate" them in to specific types of environments though.

Specifically, I'm referring to a project I worked on for a large insurance to get smart card auth (something Microsoft are actually fairly good at) for login working with ZenWorks, Checkpoint VPN and a number of other tools. Without going into details, it was a nightmare.

To be fair, in our case a lot of the problems were caused by a thick-headed insistence on using nwgina combined with a very specific set of requirements. We ran into timeout issues, authentication incompatibilities, whatnot.

If they manage to get everything working together nicely in a Linux environment, power both to them and to the poor bastard consultants who have to set up things like we did! :)

Re:Novell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705830)

Maybe that's why they bought Cambridge Consulting?

Quattro Pro (1, Insightful)

tobyp (10493) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705426)

Not sure how much credence I'd give an article which claims the Quattro Pro *spreadsheet* program is in fact a database....

Not "winning back" loyalty, but maybe winning. (3, Interesting)

Queuetue (156269) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705474)

I never really had a use for Novell servers before - they were the 'ugly legacy black boxes' I usually was tasked with removing and replacing before this recent change in direction.

Now, Groupwise, Nterprise, Red Carpet Enterprise, Ximian Desktop and SuSe, in a tight package, intended to scale seamlessly all the way up and down the enterprise, all backed by a company with considerable name recognition and cash, and has been defending ground against MS for decades?

This sounds like it could be a killer combination - something that could provide a significant challenge to MS, in a relatively short time.

One thing I don't knoww about Novell - are they known to treat thier customers (or even the general market) reasonably well? I know there is an ancient SCO relationship, but not one that would indicate they support the current regime or direction over there, correct?

Re:Not "winning back" loyalty, but maybe winning. (1)

njcoder (657816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705672)

"I know there is an ancient SCO relationship, but not one that would indicate they support the current regime or direction over there, correct?"

Actually this is quite funny in my opinion. Back in they Digital Research's DR DOS had a rough time with Microsoft and IBM teaming up to kill it by charging $240 to put it on IBM PC's while Microsoft's DOS was being sold for $40. Novell bought Digital Research and at some later point Ray Noorda formed Caldera. He bought the rights to DR DOS for the purpose of pursuing a lawsuit against Microsoft for how they were unfairly priced. They won.

Years later, Caldera/SCO become one. SCO buys the rights to Unix from Novell. Sues IBM and others over Linux. At some point IBM gives $50million to Novell, for what purpose I'm not sure but they buy SuSE.

Why I find this musing (as a summary for those that have the attention span of a fruit fly) First scenario, key players, Caldera, Novell, IBM, Microsoft and a ass load of attorneys. Second scenario, key payers, SCO(Caldera) Novell, IBM, Microsoft and an ass load of attorneys.

Novell Visited Our LUG (5, Interesting)

terrencefw (605681) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705502)

Novell (specifically Mark McManus and Simon Lidgett) came this week and outlined their Linux strategy in a talk to our LUG, WYLUG [] .

They seem to be pretty fired up about stuff. Their next generation product will be "Open Enterprise Server", which can run either on Netware or Linux as a base OS.

They seem very into cross-platform and compatibility, in particular with respect to authentication, single sign-on and all that.

Re:Novell Visited Our LUG (1)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705910)

Simon Lidgett was running the technical demos on a load of Novell Linux knowledgeshare events that I went to. Great bloke, very enthusiastic about their push towards Linux. Although a slight tendency to tell very bad jokes about football.

Did they show "Lord of the Net, the two servers"?

... and where did the money come from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705530)

It is my understanding that originally Sun Microsystems were trying to buy Suse but IBM were extremely worried about this because they would then be left with working solely with Red Hat. They didn't want to buy either Red Hat or Suse themselves since they wanted to maintain a choice of independent distros in the market. This would allow them to incorporate Linux into their tech stack without being held to ransom by an OS "vendor" (think MS-DOS. The OS being a "commodity", where they can continue to have an inside track to keep ahead by putting resource into the open source community, allows them to compete effectively in the middleware (Websphere) and dbms (DB2) space - amongst others. IBM software revenues are about $9bn so this represent a tiny investment to secure your platform.

The solution was to give (invest in) Novell $50m to help them outbid Sun on Suse.

And giving their customers an upgrade path from Netware and still use all of the other Novell products (NDS etc). So long Netware.

And I agree with the developers, developers developers points that people are making. It'a about them!

The problem of Novell is ... (5, Interesting)

Akimotos (747459) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705550)

their loyalty. Let me explain. Back in the '90s I ran a salesdepartment of a big IT shop with big customers. All my salesguys worked on a basic pay, with a great bonus. Then came the millennium saga ....
They all got training .. you can upgrade this application with this update and that application with that upgrade. All my guys made the quotation on their customers: what are they running now and how am I going to make the most money out of their upgrade.
More than one of those guys earned a second home just by upgrading its customers to Windows. Why Windows? Because Microsoft forced customers into buying whole new license packs, with new software. Even customers running older versions of Windows. It were the days that we simply couldn't find enough people to install and implement upgrades. Microsoft couldn't even ship CD's, licenses and boxes fast enough. In the end we did complete conversions from blanc CD's and provided the customer with its formal material later. And crew was even worse: we sent whole groups of 'people_handy_with_computers' off to South Africa where we bought MCSE documents, just to be able to put them on jobs in Europe...
Oh, and Novell? They simply produced upgrades, even for aging versions of their OS, like 3.12 and such. Each upgrade was about $200 (or something) with which you could make your server OS millennium proof. 3.x went to 3.2 and 4.x went to 4.2. And that was it... my Novell guys just sold a handful of CD's, didn't earn a second home on bonusses, but scored a ten on customer satifaction. And the problem was that Novell informed all customers about the possibility. My guys simply didn't have the opportunity to scale 'm up from 3.x to 4.2 or even version 5.... every customer was already informed about the $200 update kit for the 3 and 4 series.
Since most salesguys don't have a heart or basically don't care about quality (it's just about the bonus), they simply advised customers to ignore the opdate: it's better switching to Windows... you see, I have a second mortgage to pay ...
It was terrible to see such a nice product becoming a victim of its customer loyalty, especially since the Windows customers simply didn't (and still don't) see that they are being toyed with.
And I? I left the circus in September 1999 on 'matters of principle' ....

What would make them a FOSS hero? (4, Interesting)

darnok (650458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705555)

Release OpenExchange as open source.

In many sites, Exchange is the one MS product that is irreplaceable infrastructure. I know, alternatives exist, but plugging together 12 different pieces of FOSS with differing licences isn't something that a lot of IT departments are comfortable with. They'd rather live with their regularly unscheduled Exchange outages, thanks very much!

If OpenExchange was free, it would go close to being a drop-in replacement for MS Exchange. With a company the size of Novell behind it, it would be a much easier sell to those companies than plugging together a bunch of FOSS server products, most with no big vendor behind them.

Novell would get a *lot* of mind-share in these organizations, as they'd be the enablers for getting MS out of their core infrastructure once and for all. I'd bet they could leverage this mindshare when it came time to upgrade those desktops as well.

Well, Novell, what are you waiting for?

Talk to them, hear them out (1)

Zaffle (13798) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705587)

I'd like to just say, hear them out.

I've recently attended a couple of Novell presentations, and also attended a free Novel Linux Salesperson training course. They aren't all that bad. At least in New Zealand, they are really making an effort. They've contacted the local LUGs, made presentations. They offer a pretty good selection of courses, and some of them free or very low price.

I've never really bled red (supported Novell) before, but I'm starting to be swayed.

So go try 'em out. Go find a local Novell office and ask when they are doing their next presentation regarding Linux. I've been pretty impressed so far, they've been very receptive. We had the head of something-or-rather from Asia Pacific Novell at the Linux Salesperson course, and attending the course what the CEO of one of NZ's leading Linux companies. They knew what they were talking about :)

Some years ago... (1)

Vitus Wagner (5911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705599)

Some years ago there were few significant competitor s to top Microsoft Products:

Word Perfect (to Word)

Quattro Pro (to Excel)


Once Novell acquired all these product and effectively drive them out of market.

Re:Some years ago... (2, Informative)

PaulusMagnus (797138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705753)

WordPerfect and Quattro Pro were only real competition in the DOS world. Their Windows equivalents never really stood a chance as Microsoft gained a head start on everybody and based their feature sets on these products. Everybody was playing catch up with Microsoft until they finally accepted defeat. DR-DOS is still alive today but then again, the market for DOS isn't exactly large any more. I also think that Novell's move into application software was badly timed and made them take their eye off the ball with regard to Netware and their NOS. They've been battling ever since and done a pretty good job of standing up to the M$ Marketing Machine.

Small and Medium Business (4, Interesting)

managementboy (223451) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705630)

I believe Novell has a good standing to start to win back small and medium business, as long as they can show how these porblems get resolved through their offerings:

* Licencing cost are low(er) compared with rivals
* Costs due to Viri don't exist in Novell's SuSE offerings (business men know this problem first hand)
* Costs due to Spam get significantly reduced due to Novells SuSE offerings (business men know this problem)
* Security is inherently high (business men know this problem)
* Single signon and other Directory services are good for business (business men know this problem)
* OpenOffice is free and compatible (free is allways good, as long as you get support... Novell enters the stage)
* Novell removes the nerdy part of Linux and makes it business man friendly

These are not technical arguments. They would be the ones I would use to convice any owner of a small or medium business to use Novell's products in an upgrade cycle (from win95, from Oracle 8, from IE5 etc.).

In the Novell development center... (3, Funny)

DungeonCoder (796682) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705678)

Ximian guy: The next distro is focused in GNOME.
SuSE guy: No, GNOME is crap, KDE is the focus.
Ximian guy: KDE is kbloated!!!!!!!!
SuSE guy: STFU dwarf!
Ximian guy: STFU you nazi german!
Microsoft guy (only watching): Round 1! Fight!

Re:In the Novell development center... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705744)

i recently witnessed a presentation by a ximian guy hosted by novell, and it was basically one side of the conversation above. something makes me guess that were a SUSE developer present it would have ended in fisticuffs.

Caveat ! (2, Insightful)

foobsr (693224) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705713)

There is a caveat in the ranking of Linux vendors: Novell is No.2 if you don't count IBM and Hewlett-Packard, which probably sell most of the Linux software going into the enterprise market.

loc. cit. [] : "If Linux is free, why's it so expensive?"

Good point. Think about it. Think if the system as it works really is a s free as intended.


corepirate nazi stock markup FraUDs as heros? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705773)

for the open-source "community"?

well, eye gas they're already paying eyeball (yours) reNToll space from robbIE (yet another $hero$)?

it's all gooed? lookout bullow. the daze of the felonious greed/fear/ego based payper liesense hypenosys peddlers is WANing into coolapps/the abyss.

you must mean reNT(r)oll space? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9705789)

yet another self-correction by the pateNTdead eyecon0meter.

this stuff is unbreakable, & wwworks on several (more than 3) dimensions.

all is not lost.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators..... authoring kode that really works, since/until forever. see you there?

Didio quoted (1)

chadm1967 (144897) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705825)

I see that our friend, Didio, was quoted in the article........ :-(

Novell and IBM, sitting in a tree (4, Informative)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 10 years ago | (#9705842)

One of the problems Novell (and Microsoft) has, as a network server platform, is being tied to the ia32 platform. This meant that if you wanted a file server with boatloads of RAM to cache data, you slammed into the 32 bit address limits (yes, I know, 36 bits on later processors, but that is an ugly hack - bank switching once again.)

Novell has realized that the OS the server runs is largely irrelevant to the users - they just care about the SERVICES the server provides. Migrating away from NetwareOS to an OS that supports 64 bit platforms allows Novell to break through the 4G barrier.

So, what do you want from your file server? Massive RAM, MASSIVE DISK I/O and even more massive network I/O. Reliability. Fault tolerance. Expandability. Hot-swap EVERYTHING.

Now, name a vender of server iron that meets those specs. I know of a little company that can do that - so little they only need three letters for their name. A company who's middle name literally IS "business".

Imagine what would happen if Novell made Netware services available on the IBM zSeries or iSeries. Now you have a platform that supports massive quantities of FAST disks, smart disk I/O subsystems, smart network subsystems. A system that can sense a failing disk and phone home - you come to work in the morning and an IBM tech is waiting at the door with a replacement disk before the disk fails, swaps it out in a minute, and you users never notice.

A system where if you find yourself a little light on CPU, a phone call fixes the problem. A system where you can run multiple virtual servers as needed. You want database? Run DB2, either on the Linux image or under OS400/OS390.

A Novell/IBM teamup would be SCARY compelling for IT managers world-wide.

Now, I don't have any insider information, but I cannot beleive that this is NOT being worked upon in Deep Dark Places at Novell and IBM.
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