06.16.10

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Novell is a Fog Computing Company Looking for a Buyer

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, Servers, Virtualisation at 11:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fog from plane

Summary: Novell’s thick blanket of fog is looking to engulf the computing world after largely-failed attempts to sell ‘patent protection’ for GNU/Linux; these efforts may be short-lived as reports about Novell’s negotiations suggest no withdrawal from sale

NOVELL’S negotiations of a sale are very quiet and there have been no reports about them for a while. As DZone points out, this issue is important also because Novell owns UNIX [1, 2, 3], which can potentially be used against Linux (even on a basis of false allegations).

Although we now know that Novell’s Linux-related patents are safe from SCO, there’s no telling what could happen when Novell is acquired (companies have started bidding).

Earlier today we found this report about Novell’s buyout situation. The most relevant part says:

While the answer given [to Elliot] by Novell’s board was a clear refusal, it also stated that it would be prepared to consider alternative offers. According to an May 2010 report in the The Wall Street Journal, about 20 suitors – mostly private equity firms – had approached the company with offers. At the time of publication of this article, no offer had been accepted.

Private ownership may allow Novell to take the drastic action required to turn its business around, should the intelligent workload management and “cloud enabler” strategies prove insufficient. There is, for example, an opportunity for a company with deep pockets to become a commercial open source consolidator. It would be ironic if the opacity of private ownership were to allow Novell to pull this off.

Novell tries new directions, mostly Fog Computing-oriented. The article above mentions IWM and there is also PlateSpin, which continues to receive some coverage [1, 2] although probably too little to make a turnaround.

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