10.10.09

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Novell News Summary – Part II: SUSE Studio and BridgeWays, Novell’s Proprietary Side Also

Posted in Australia, Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Google, Identity Management, Interoperability, Mail, Marketing, NetWare, Novell, OpenSUSE, Protocol, Red Hat, SCO, Servers, SLES/SLED, UNIX, Videos, Virtualisation, Windows, Xandros at 10:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Letter N

Summary: Large assortment of Novell news from the past week

IT HAS not been a packed week for Novell, not judging by the news anyway. This week we combine some elements of SUSE with the rest of the bunch. Novell’s business is also mentioned in this new report.

SUSE Studio

SLE* is virtually out of sight and this has been the case for several months. It is mostly being sold as a ‘solution’ and part of other ‘solutions’ (software/hardware products), but although it’s on the verge of being just OpenSUSE, here are some bits of news about SUSU Studio, all found in the past week alone. Novell’s PR people wrote about it in their blog.

Back in August this year we launched SUSE Studio, a new product designed to make it very easy to build, test and deploy full-functional software appliances using Linux. SUSE Studio earned strong support from the ISV community and in the days following the launch new users were signing on at the astonishing rate of more than one a minute.

Here is a selection of new reviews, which were mostly very positive:

i. SUSE Studio – Make your own Linux

I’m very pleased with the Studio. It’s Kiwi, simplified, polished and made available to the masses. A truly great step in the right direction.

ii. SuSE Studio TestDrive: Slightly Customizing an Linux OpenSuSE 11.1

One of strengths of GNU/Linux is the proportional degree of freedom that enables the user to modify or recreate key components of the operating system. On Sept. 24, 2009 I attended the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California. During the morning lunch, informally chatting with an Intel employee who claimed to be involved in his organization’s efforts in compiler development, I refuted his assertion that the multiplicity of GNU/Linux distributions was detrimental to the operating system commercial support.

iii. Suse Studio Review

Suse Studio is an excellent tool for anyone who wants to build their own Linux distribution. The online environment is comprehensive and doesn’t require any effort on your part to use. You can be using your own distribution in minutes with Testdrive, and can have tested, built and downloaded your distribution in a fraction of the time it would take you to setup the necessary environment yourself.

From Australia comes this IDG report which includes elements of SUSE.

Student Jesty Karl Salvatierra beat out his competitors in a close field, with contestants having seven hours to complete their infrastructure and IT systems configurations. Designed to test the competitors’ skills and abilities in the key areas of PC support and network maintenance in a ‘real world’ business environment, the participants had to install a guest operating system of SUSE Linux 10.2 onto a host running VMware Server.

Xandros

This is not about Novell, but the following press release is about a product which has impact on Novell at the server side. It also involves a company that signed a Microsoft patent deal similar to Novell’s.

Netherlands-based Systems Integrator employs BridgeWays Management Packs to Extend Microsoft System Center Administration to Business Critical Applications on Windows, Linux, and Unix

Recollections and Old Software

Novell happens to be mentioned in this opinion piece from Scott Fulton, who opines that size is the issue with particular companies, not just behaviour. This is not true and a long explanation can be written to counter this point of view.

Looking at this report from IDG, it appears as though Novell disappoints some customers who rely on it for DNS.

Boise State isn’t the only organization to discover that it could save money by switching from DNS software to DNS appliances. The Nevada Department of Corrections recently bought DNS appliances from BlueCat rival Infoblox to replace DNS software from Novell that was requiring too much time from network administrators.

Did Novell shoot itself in the foot? A NetworkWorld writer believes so.

What technology does a small business need, whether real estate office or dry cleaners or restaurant or muffler shop? What comes to mind first, thanks to Microsoft’s constant marketing, is a server. Since Novell shot itself in the foot so often it lost the majority share of the server market years ago, a server automatically means Microsoft to most people.

SCO

Novell is still hanging out in the courtroom with SCO. Mr. Cahn, the Trustee of SCO, is still inquiring to find out what goes on inside.

I have a friend whose theory of life is that when you are down to your last $100, rather than skimping, you should go out and spend it on a luxurious, wonderful meal, because afterwards you’ll think of something. SCO’s Chapter 11 Trustee must be a kindred spirit.

Mr. Cahn has filed with the bankruptcy court an application to hire a financial advisor/investment banker, Ocean Park Advisors, to advise him on what he should do about SCO. Should they reorganize, sell off and shut down or what? It’s complicated. Not to mention expensive. Wait. Does SCO have any money it doesn’t already owe to someone?

In a later post from Groklaw, Darl McBride’s criminal investigation is being responded to.

Here, the plaintiff wants to sue him and some other defendants, some of them in New York, over an alleged conspiracy hatched and at least partially executed in New York, according to the complaint. McBride is claiming that Pelican can’t sue him in New York State, since he says he has no connection to that state at all. Pelican claims he does, as I’ll show you, but it also claims the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act provides supplemental jurisdiction.

Virtualisation

Earlier this week we wrote about Novell's latest shot at Red Hat. This is still being mentioned in the context of Red Hat’s arrangement with Microsoft.

The agreement between Microsoft and Red Hat has significant implications for Novell. For a while Novell enjoyed a unique status in terms of being the only Linux partner that Microsoft has agreed to work with. And while the respective management frameworks offered by Microsoft and Novell are better integrated with their respective operating systems; that may not be a strong enough argument to get customer to give up their Red Hat distributions in favor of Suse Linux from Novell.

The author misses that point that Novell sold out by involving software patents and doing projects for Microsoft, whereas Red Hat’s deal is quite benign. There is more the subject here.

I recall a time not too long ago when Novell was the only Linux distro vendor playing ball with Microsoft. Of course, that was when both Linux companies were backing Xen for the long term.

Forbes has this new article on virtualisation myths. it was jointly written by David Convery, who holds Novell certification.

Mail

Someone has uploaded the following Novell commercial

GroupWise was mentioned in this article in relation to the BlackBerry and also mentioned in the following press release.

Research In Motion recently updated BlackBerry Enterprise IM Clients from v2.2 to v2.5 and includes clients for Novell GroupWise Messenger, IBM Lotus Sametime, and Microsoft’s Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007.

The old story about Los Angeles is being repeated in the following analysis.

Fed up with Novell e-mail software first installed in 1995 and dubbed “the slowest, most inefficient, crash-prone e-mail system in the history of mankind,” by the mayor’s office, LA city officials last year solicited bids for a modern replacement.

Security

Novell may be losing Los Angeles, but it has just gotten a contract in New York City. From the press release:

Novell today announced the City of New York has turned to Novell for improved integration of the city’s identity and security information technology infrastructure.

From another short report on the subject.

Jim Ebzery, senior vice president of identity and security management at Novell, said: “More than eight million New Yorkers use government services for a variety of daily needs. It is essential that the city’s agencies and systems not only operate efficiently but are protected against potential security risks. With Novell, the city can deliver simplicity and security to New Yorkers by providing a single digital identity that provides access to various city agencies.”

New York is to rely on Novell for security just as another vulnerability is found in Novell eDirectory, which is proprietary. In relation to Hotmail and Gmail intrusion, the following point was made:

Data Technique has developed a tool to integrate Gmail with Novell s eDirectory for account provisioning and management.

Identity Management

Identity is related to security and TMCNet delivers some fake reporting with a tweaked press releases, as usual. Novell is listed as part of the Liberty Alliance.

These vendors include Entrust, IBM (News – Alert), Microsoft, Novell, Ping Identity, SAP and Siemens.

Over at ZDNet UK, Novell also got mentioned as part of DMTF :

There are several cloud interoperability initiatives that are underway. In April, the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) formed an Open Cloud Standards Incubator (OCSI) group. This group’s board includes representatives from AMD, Cisco, Citrix, EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Savvis, Sun and VMware.

Additionally, there is this report from Hungary:

„IT systems’ continuous and secure operation and the compliance with the legislation and sector wise standards is an enormous task for the IT departments” – said Zsolt Hargitai, commercial support manager of Novell Magyarország. „Clients need a cost-saving and efficient soluton that works well with their existing systems while providing a safe infrastructure and the compliance as well,” – he added.

Novell’s Sentinel Log Manager helps them search efficiently through logs and the open source format makes it possible to store and archive data and reports on any available hardware, resulting in reduced compliance costs as well.

People

Novell will be speaking alongside IBM and Eric Schmidt was mentioned as Novell’s former head in a couple of places. Schmidt will speak in Utah.

Eric Schmidt came in from Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL).

Another former Novell officer was mentioned in The Chronicle.

Mr. Ricart’s arrival follows the six-year tenure of Tom West, LambdaRail’s first chief executive. Mr. Ricart has also founded three technology start-ups, served as Novell’s chief technology officer, and acted as the military’s technology liaison to the Clinton White House.

One last unimportant mention of Novell in relation to John Cruz:

John later developed video player add-ons for Macromedia Director and Novell development tools.

Partners

In India, Novell has launched a “PartnerNet” programme.

Novell will launch its global partner program-PartnerNet-in India in November, 2009. The revised version of this program was launched globally a year ago, to translate the company’s aggressive push of its open source solutions in the indirect channel space since 2008.

There is also a lookout for partners/customers in Australia:

Vasco has signed a distribution agreement with Sydney-based Novell specialist Open Channel Solutions (OCS).

Under the agreement, Novell’s largest Australian distie OCS will distribute Vasco’s full range of authentication products including Vasco’s Novell-certified range.

Novell makes friends in Scotland:

Indicia Training, which now employs six office based staff and a core of 15 freelance trainers, has seen turnover rise by 36% over the past two years to £550,000 this year. They are the only training company in Scotland to be awarded the Novell Gold Partner status – a much sought after industry accreditation – and can now count the likes of the Scottish Government, the NHS and Mars among its impressive client list.

In addition, Novell partners were mentioned mostly among lists of companies and some press releases.

Marketing

Grant Ho from Novell’s marketing team has just exploited another perceived problem in order to market Novell:

This may be good for a company that is only looking to manage their data center, but key questions remain — what’s going to happen to LANDesk, a subsidiary of Avocent? Will Emerson keep LANDesk? What’s going to happen to current LANDesk customers or future customers? What’s going to happen to LANDesk partners? Does Emerson’s focus on the data center mean it will get out of the endpoint management business? As a LANDesk customer or partner, I’m sure these are just a few of the questions you’re asking.

Not so long ago, Novell’s marketing team also used its "bloated" Linux remark as means of marketing SUSE Studio. How opportunistic.

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11 Comments

  1. JohnD said,

    October 10, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Gravatar

    Oh please! Check out the Secunia site for the advisory statistics for eDirectory – only 4 for 2009 and a whopping 10 for 2008. Your beloved NONPROPRIETARY Linux kernel 2.6.x has 31 so far in 2009 and 23 in 2008. Looks to me like the city of NY made a smart choice.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Linux is a lot larger than eDirectory.

    JohnD Reply:

    What does that have to do with anything? eDirectory runs on several different host OS’s which in and of itself creates problems. You’re trying to make it sound like NY is making a mistake because they are switching to product that has a whopping 4 security issues this year. I also noticed you haven’t clued your readership into your preferred FOSS alternative to eDirectory/Active Directory.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Well

    JohnD Reply:

    Are you seriously trying to compare eDirectory to Samba4? You’re the one who constantly pans MS for touting products that aren’t even in stable form and here you are doing the same thing. BTW – Samba just ties into AD and provides an LDAP – hardly equating apples to apples. Of course you’re right in that it doesn’t have any security holes – yet. But Samba 3.x has 4 in 2009 and we won’t go into all the things it CAN’T do compared to eDirectory or AD.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Why don’t you recommend something then?

    Most existing alternatives are also proprietary.

    http://www.esyndicat.com/
    http://www.phplinkdirectory.com/articlescript/index.php
    http://www.phplynx.com/

    JohnD Reply:

    Let’s see, I’m defending eDirectory so one might conclude that’s my suggestion. It’s by far the most secure and mature offering out there. I realize I’ll be labeled a “traitor” to the movement, but there somethings in life that are worth paying money for and security is one of them in my opinion. While I am always impressed by the Linux project and how well it works – it’s not perfect. I give kudos to the community for quickly they work to patch holes etc, but I will always believe that to truly make products secure out of the gate you will need a group of people paid to make it that way. I know that many will say that by keeping it open you will get many more eyes looking for problems which is true. Even with all those eyes we keep finding holes in Linux. In the past Novell was able to market an incredibly secure product in Netware and even eDirectory without having all those eyes helping. If the IT industry is going to thrive again – there needs to be room for both ideologies.
    Your attempt to slam eDirectory was a poor one.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I didn’t slam it. I wrote: “New York is to rely on Novell for security just as another vulnerability is found in Novell eDirectory, which is proprietary.”

    That’s factual.

    JohnD Reply:

    Please Roy let’s not do the semantics dance. Yes your statement is factual, I never said it wasn’t. It also leads the uninformed reader to draw an erroneous conclusion. Based upon what you’ve written the average person would infer that New York is making a bad decision for one of 3 possibilities:
    A: The software has more than one vulnerability.
    or
    B: It’s proprietary
    or A & B
    Adding to your statement that the new vulnerability is only the 4th one found this year would also be correct, but would lead the reader to a different conclusion wouldn’t it?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Vulnerabilities are less frequently found in proprietary software because it’s secret. But it doesn’t mean it’s the real number of vulnerabilities (nor that it’s safer).

    JohnD Reply:

    You might very well be correct about proprietary not being safer, but you may also be incorrect. The fact is – you don’t know, nor does anyone else. Personally I would use your statement above to support secret/proprietary software when creating security solutions. I’d rather have a program with a hundred holes no one can find than a program that has just 1 that everyone knows about.
    Humans are imperfect creatures, hence all of our creations are flawed as well. All software will have holes,bugs etc there’s no way around it. The industry needs FOSS just as much as it needs proprietary.

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