Novell Delivers Workload Automation Strategy, Tools

What do you get when you put Linux, security, virtualization and BSM together?

Novell's business spans a number of IT areas, including Linux, groupware, security, business services management and virtualization products. Today, the company unveiled a strategy that helps to tie together a number of these units into an intelligent workload management solution for enterprises.

The idea is to quip enterprises with the combined tools set necessary for management, security and delivery of both physical and virtual workloads in enterprises, across datacenters, and in the cloud.

The strategy is one that Novell's (NASDAQ: NOVL) CEO hinted at last week as one of the future directions that would help his company to recover from a challenging financial year in 2009.

"We think intelligent workload management is the answer to addressing concerns around security, performance management and availability, and getting clients to address the paradox of trying to control their own environments and make it more responsive at the same time," Novell CMO John Dragoon told

A key part of Novell's strategy involves leveraging its SUSE Studio Linux appliance-building service that debuted earlier this year. SUSE Studio enables users to build their own Linux-based software appliances that can then be deployed in either physical or virtual instances.

Dragoon explained that Novell is planning on expanding SUSE Studio with a two key components: SUSE Appliance Toolkit and the Novell Workshop applications.

"The appliance toolkit is a suite of tools and that's about making it so enterprises can build and leverage appliances while improving the efficiency of both deployment and maintenance," Dragoon said. The toolkit will support both physical and virtual instances and will include updating capabilities as well as access and configuration management.

Meanwhile, the Novell Workshop application is intended to help edit intelligent workloads. According to Dragoon, it will enable enterprises to edit workloads with embedded management, compliance and security for both Linux and Windows workloads.

The concept of using an appliance-building technology to leverage a workload solution is not entirely unique to Novell. Linux appliance pioneer rPath is now using its technology as part of a datacenter automation solution. In rPath's case, the solution is not about overall workload management, but rather is focused on automating the process by which datacenter applications and operating systems are deployed, managed and maintained.

While the basis for intelligent workload management is its SUSE Studio Linux offering, Novell plans to take an agnostic approach when it comes to the workload operating systems it supports, with the aim of handling multiple environments including Linux, Windows, VWware and Xen virtualization. (It's not the first time that Novell has hoped to benefit from straddling the line between OSes -- its strategic partnership with Microsoft on interoperability and intellectual property, is now entering its third year.)

On the security side of workload management, Novell plans on expanding its existing offerings for workload identity awareness -- including the Novell Identity Manager and Sentinel products.

On the physical to virtual management side, Novell will leverage its PlateSpin assets that it acquired in 2008 for $205 million. Business Service Management technologies, or BSM, will be integrated by way of Novell's Managed Object assets, which it also acquired in 2008.

While Novell's intelligent workload strategy is something that will evolve over time, Dragoon emphasized that the approach is real and isn't vaporware.

"We need to get customers to understand that this is not some long-term vision they have to wait for but they can start today," Dragoon said. "Most workloads today are still physical, a lot of companies tend to run to the cloud part of the conversation because it's the sexiest, but there is pragmatic work to be delivered across the continuum whether it's internal or external."

"We want people to understand that when and if they're ready to deploy and work across whatever computing platform, Novell should be part of that conversation."

Article courtesy of

Tags: Linux, virtualization, Novell, BSM, workload management

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