Recession Will Drive Demand for SUSE Enterprise 11

by Sonal Desai    Mar 26, 2009

Strengthening its strategy for open source and Linux, Novell recently announced its latest offering in SUSE Linux - the Enterprise Version 11. The new version comes to the market almost a year and a half after Novell released version 10.

According to Sandeep Menon, country head, Novell India, Enterprise version 11 underwent a strong certification process before release, and is chiefly aimed to rationalize complexities in datacenters, and to be the Linux operating system of choice in mission-critical applications globally. In short, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 offers high availability, better energy efficiency and support for virtualization and cloud computing.

With the release of SUSE Linux Enterprise11, Novell is helping IT professionals save money while addressing other key issues such as interoperability, support for mission-critical computing, and the flexibility to deploy Linux in a wide range of environments.

The platform contains major enhancements to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and delivers two new extensions - SUSE Linux Enterprise Mono Extension, the only product that enables customers to run fully supported Microsoft .NET-based applications on Linux, and SUSE Linux, which is the only version to make .Net applications to work on Linux.

The company is introducing the Enterprise Version 11 to the market around three themes:  Ubiquity; Interoperability; and Mission-critical Computing.

"In ubiquity, we wanted the OS to be disassociated from the lock-in hardware patterns, in interoperability, we had to make people learn to co-exist. Unlike Red Hat, we have a suite that protects different degrees of operability issues and cross-platform compatibility. There are numerous offerings. For example, VMware, Zen in servers, and Microsoft’s HyperV and Suse Linux can run on all three," said Menon.

Novell, he said, set the tools to meet mission-critical levels atop these virtualization products. With a bottom-up approach, these tools will be able to adjust to the requirements of anything from mobiles, to desktop to mainframes. The applications will chiefly ensure high availability; for example, installing infrastructure in datacenter with expensive software. SUSE Linux will make it easier and less expensive.

So, how do these offerings differ from what Red Hat has to offer? Admitting that Red Hat has something similar to offer, Menon said the similarities end at the OS level.

All the same, the market knows that the two companies are not against each other. They are joined at the hip because of the kernel, and hence they need to cooperate for interoperability and for customers.

In fact, Microsoft spent many years denying the existence of Linux and saying that it will not work. It has now admitted that Linux is here to stay, and signed the interoperability agreement with Novell. Red Hat picked up the cue and vindicated this stand, when it signed the interoperability agreement with Microsoft.

Menon said that the current slowdown and subsequent cost-cutting measures by enterprises will drive the demand for SUSE Enterprise Version 11. "Technologies such as open source and virtualization are now being looked at seriously, and we are straddling both of them here. We will enable organizations to move to technologies such as virtualization, cloud computing and even datacenters. The CIOs will certainly be able to evaluate the benefits of an optimised IT environment."

Quoting a recent IDC study, Menon said 50 percent of CIOs want to move their production workforce to Linux. Also aware that India is still a Unix-friendly country, he is optimistic that a lot of Unix-friendly users will gradually transit or migrate to Linux. On how can the CIOs be convinced to hand over mission-critical applications, he said, "One of our largest implementation is at SAP, and it can be as mission critical as it can get."

In India, considering the nature of the local market, desktop offers big opportunities, said Menon. "We will focus on end-user computer and also datacenters. On datacenters, the strategy will be to make the datacenter co-exist with other applications, virtualization, security software, etc, as also mission-critical computing on Linux, like SAP does. We will drive our volumes from the end-users."

SUSE Linux Enterprise11 will start shipping to India next month onwards. Customers on Enterprise Version 10 will be automatically updated to the newer version.

To be priced on a subscription basis, a full suite (basic) for Linux on desktop will come for $50 per annum, and the Linux on server will come for $ 349/annum. The basic suite will contain patches, updates and contact details for Novell support. The SUSE Linux standard support (9×5) for desktop will come at $120 and the server at $799 annually. The SUSE Linux priority support (24×7) for desktop comes at $200 and the server comes for $1,499 annually.


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