Bonum Certa Men Certa

Contrasting Red Hat and Novell's Philosophies

At the recent CITI conference, Stafford Masie put out a call for other distributions such as Ubuntu and Red Hat, as well as the Open Source community as whole, to Embrace Microsoft.

Apparently, Mr. Masie hasn't read chapters 2 and 3 in Microsoft's playbook, Extend and Exterminate, maybe someone can get him the Cliff's Notes.

So, while perhaps not well versed in the philosophies of their new partner Microsoft, Masie certainly seems to have an understanding of the philosophies of Novell and their competitor Red Hat.

End to End Open Source vs. Hybrid Stack

So, what about Red Hat, nothing stops Red Hat from doing this.

Why won't red Hat do this? Because of a different philosophical approach to the enterprise, now let me make this clear, Red Hat's approach to the enterprise in the Linux stack is end-to-end open source, everything. Ok, so you're directory will be open source, your management technology will be open source, your platform, your security stack, everything.

We believe today alot of the open source technology has not caught up yet to enterprise customers' needs in the security domain, management domain. Where Linux is open source, specifically Linux is completely applicable is the platform, the desktop, office productivity suite, the database, etc so there's kinda 5 major areas where its good enough if not better than whats out there, ok? where its not there yet, Novell has proprietary technology and partners that provide 3rd party technologies to that proprietary technologies where we wrap our technologies around this Linux technology. so, like zenworks management, our zenworks management suite is a proprietary piece of technology.

Our security, identity management technologies, theres alot of proprietary aspects to that, although we've open-sourced some pieces of it. we believe in a hybrid stack within the enterprise, because a hybrid stack gives you greater value than a pure end-to-end open source stack, in time we will get to an open source stack, but we're not going to take a philosophical stance which we believe will impact the penetration of Linux.

Therefore, we have a greater need of doing this than potentially Red Hat, because Red Hat's stance is end-to-end open source, which we don't believe is ready for the enterprise today, there's alot of hackers, developers and... its a technological way of looking at it, but customers wanting to mitigate risk, providing support, ensuring that the stack is supported by all third parties, etc all those business risks associated with a technology, want to see this linkage, they want to see this interoperability, thats why the covenant is there with Microsoft and Novell.

Novell may not believe that Red Hat is ready for the enterprise today, but it is apparent that all of their prospective customers do. That's why Novell needed Big Mike's help to convince them to try SUSE, they're frustrated with slow SUSE adoption and have run out of ideas.

Big Mike's idea was to co-sponsor a survey, because that's sure to convince everyone to switch to SUSE, and hand out some stay out of court free coupons, surely the way to inspire customer confidence.

Of course, a major driving factor in Open Source adoption is that it is an alternative to Microsoft and their monopolistic, bullying tactics. By aligning with Microsoft, Novell loses that selling point and is just seen as Microsoft's Linux Division.

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