Summary: Lenovo still discriminates against market leader Red Hat and instead pushes the Microsoft-encumbered SUSE
NOT so long ago we remarked on Lenovo’s relationship with Microsoft. The companies appear in tandem more often than not and we have written about Microsoft staff who entered Lenovo’s top ranks, as well as Lenovo’s preference for SLE* (Microsoft-taxed) over Red Hat [1, 2, 3, 4].
Over at The Register, a new article expresses bafflement over Lenovo’s preferential treatment for the Microsoft-taxed GNU/Linux distribution.
All of the ThinkServers support Windows Server 2008 in the Standard, Enterprise, Small Business Server, and Essential Business Server flavors. Novell is the preferred Linux supplier at Lenovo, and customers can also get SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 on the new ThinkServers.
As for server virtualization hypervisors, VMware’s ESX Server 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 are certified on the machines, as is Hyper-V for Windows 2008 and the Xen hypervisors inside of SLES 10 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.
Given the proximity between Red Hat and Lenovo in North Carolina, you’d think they’d be best buddies. Anyway, if RHEL didn’t make the cut as a preferred Linux operating system, it is at least designated as a hypervisor. Yes, that is silly.
The servers are “virtualization ready,” meaning they are available with a choice of virtualization technology from Microsoft, Novell, VMWare or Red Hat pre-installed. With the expanded memory and storage capacity, the latest computers can be used to consolidate applications running on several legacy servers into one system.
At IDG, there is also this new reminder of what Novell did with Microsoft. The author later tries to defend it.
For me, this deal looks rather like the agreement between Microsoft and Novell back in 2006. While some open source advocates suggested Novel had sold its soul to the devil, the real story was Microsoft’s recognition that in future proprietary and open source software would exist side by side in most IT shops.
This is mostly the self-serving story told by Novell. To Microsoft, the Novell deal “clearly establishes that open source is not free,” to quote Steve Ballmer shortly after the deal had been signed. █