VMware Teams Up with Novell

by Sonal Desai    Feb 28, 2009

Virtualization specialist VMware has teamed up with commercial Linux distributor Novell to create software appliances based on Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) wrapped up in VMware’s ESX Server virtual machines. The deal was inked at the VMworld festivities in Cannes this week.

Novell will offer customers who want to virtualize SLES atop ESX Server some unspecified price breaks in a limited-time-only deal.
Also, Fujitsu-Siemens made its FlexFrame utility-style clustered infrastructure for the SAP application stack available on VMware’s Virtual Infrastructure 3 toolset, which includes ESX Server 3.5, vCenter 2.5 (management console), and a slew of VM management add-ons.

As part of the collaboration, Novell, VMware, and application software giant SAP are preparing a Unix-to-virtualized-Linux migration offering, which is expected to come to market in mid-March.
VMware has VMware Studio that helps programmers to create applications. Under this new agreement with Novell, what VMware is saying is all programmers can use the Novell Suisse studio as a skin to write down applications into VMware ESX server as well as an instance in SLES. SAP and VMware signed with Fujitsu-Siemens (for flexible infrastructure) and the scheme has been extended to Novell.
According to Madan Mohan, managing partner at Browne and Mohan, fundamentally, majority of virtualized servers deployed as guest services run on Microsoft or Linux servers. Everybody realizes there is a market migrating from Unix to Linux virtualization. More driving force today, is given the emphasis on cost saving, CIO want to do with their disparate IT investments they have made so far and interoperability is becoming a key issue. Many companies have Windows and Linux servers running and it is unlikely such a heterogeneous environment would disappear soon.

From an installed base perspective, VMware on Red Hat is much higher than ESX on Novell.  While this move would help VMware meet its revenue fall in last two quarters, SAP may see this as a medium-term benefit.
"Interoperability would remain the focus for FY09-10 and I am sure there would be more announcements from Infrastructure, network and security layers. Companies that have been adversial would realize to work together and embrace co-operation strategies (see Red Hat & Microsoft coming together)," said Mohan.
Which means larger vendors such as Microsoft, SAP and others are messaging out that they are listening and meeting customer requirement of interoperability, and are creating options wherein they could use multiple approaches to migrate or virtualise.

Such alliances have worked well even in the past with companies such as Ericsson, Siemens, etc., who worked together on common standards and interfaces. In the IT world, Microsoft and Cisco announced interoperability agreements in 2007.

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