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Do-No-Evil Saturday:OpenSUSE @ Beta3, SLED Preloads, Virtual Iron, and More

OpenSUSE



The announcement of the third beta of OpenSUSE 10.3 was made just a couple of days ago.

The openSUSE Team is proud to announce the release of openSUSE 10.3 Beta 3. Though this release should not be used on any production machines, everyone can help shape this release by testing out installations and much more.


The OpenSUSE Web site already offers a nice and very visual sneak peek at this upcoming release. Many screenshots with 'eye candy' are included.

Compiz and Xgl are two classic examples of where SUSE engineers have revolutionised the Linux desktop. openSUSE 10.3 will contain the latest Compiz 0.5.4 installed by default, and Compiz Fusion — the result of a merge between the Compiz and Beryl communities — will be available in the official online repository for all to get through YaST.


Here are the experiences of one person who gets his feet wet with the second beta.

Since this is a beta I'm not that worried about it. On the whole this beta is good enough to be put on a system for full time use. I'm definitely looking forward to this when it goes final in a few months.


A computer business in Germany has just begun preinstalling OpenSUSE on some systems.

Today, Shuttle Europe announced that they start selling two of their small form factor machines with pre-installed Novell (formerly SuSE) Linux distributions. They offer a "business" machine with SLED 10 from €529, and a "home" machine with OpenSUSE from €489.


It was surprising to find that Portugal had a national openSUSE meeting.

Marketing and Business



There have been quite a few announcements, so breaking them further down into sub-subheadings seems sensible.

Deals



Novell received praises for its progress in European education.

For Red Hat, it isn't just the French public sector where it is making gains. Earlier this year, the Kingfisher Group migrated its 240 Castorama and Brico Dépôt stores to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The DIY retailer was able to halve the number of servers it required and increase server performance.


An IBM announcement from LinuxWorld appears to be making some headlines again. IBM will be assisting the adoption of SLED and, in return, Novell will preload some proprietary IBM software.

IBM and Novell have announced an integrated open collaboration client for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop that includes IBM Lotus Notes, IBM Lotus Sametime and IBM productivity tools to deliver advanced email and calendar capabilities, unified communication & collaboration and lightweight yet powerful word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation capabilities with OpenDocument Format support.


Press Releases



Yes, quite a few were issued by Novell. Here are the prominent ones:

Novell Identity Manager Positioned in the Leaders Quadrant for User Provisioning

Novell today announced it has been positioned in the leaders quadrant of Gartner, Inc.'s, "Magic Quadrant for User Provisioning, 2H07" by Earl Perkins and Roberta J. Witty, August 23, 2007. Novell(R) Identity Manager, the company's user-provisioning solution, helps customers reduce deployment and administration costs, simplify complex provisioning, manage user roles more securely and maintain compliance with industry regulations


Study Shows Data Center Management Inefficiency Still Exists in the Enterprise

While virtualization usage is increasing in the enterprise, inefficient management of data centers and virtual environments continues to be a burden, according to a recently published study by Lighthouse Research. The study, which surveyed 411 enterprise data center decision makers, found that although 45 percent of respondents have implemented virtualization technology, few are using automated management tools to improve efficiency and resource utilization in the data center.


This following release had a headline so long that it was almost bizarre.

Virtual Iron Integrates SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Kernel and Drivers from Novell in Latest Version of Its Platform; Raises the Bar on Reliability, Security and Support

With this agreement, Virtual Iron users can now take advantage of Novell's unparalleled support matrix for data center server and storage systems and enterprise-class global support capabilities.


Virtualisation



The last press release says a lot, but some journalists have parsed it and explained how it's connected to the rest of the industry (contextually).

Here's what Larry Barrett had to add.

To help get the virtualization-shy, first-timer in the door, it offers its Version 4 Single Server Edition gratis. This package provides one virtual CPU, up to 12 virtual servers, local disk storage and access to the Novell SLES 10 kernel and drivers, giving users all the benefits of complete Novell certification and support for all hardware supported by Novell in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.


More here:

Virtual Iron Software Inc. of Lowell, Mass., has upped the revision number of its eponymous virtualization platform to version 4. The latest version builds on the 64-bit Xen 3.1 open source code from XenSource Inc.., integrating support for Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 10 kernel and drivers, offering a new management console, and adding new physical-to-virtual (P2V) and virtual-to-virtual (V2V) migration capabilities.


A new virtualisation event in Munich was held jointly by Novell, Intel and IDC.

Products and Milestones



An important day for Novell's OES is approaching (September 26th).

OES is a hybrid of Linux and NetWare that provides an amalgam of the capabilities of both. With OES 2, Novell is moving to a Linux kernel rather than a dual kernel strategy, which is perhaps the biggest change with the Cypress release.


AMD's big announcement (open source drivers and improved Linux performance for ATI/AMD cards) has a relation to Novell.

Beginning the week of Sept. 10, AMD and Novell's SUSE Linux engineering team will join forces to release the needed source code and hardware specifications to create open-source 2D graphics drivers for the Radeon chip family. Over the following months, AMD will continue to work with the open-source community to enable 2D, 3D and video playback acceleration to provide the best possible experience on the Linux desktop.


Finance



While Novell might not be pleasing some clients, users, and developers, the investors appear to be happy. Here are some takes on NOVL:

Brokers recommend the issue with two "strong buys," three "buys," seven "holds" and one "sell." Analysts expect a 43% growth rate through the next year.


Another new rating puts NOVL on "neutral".

Analyst F Drake Johnstone of Davenport & Company maintains his "neutral" rating on Novell Corporation


Forbes says that Linux lifts Novell"

And that's investor faith. Faith that the company's current Linux-focused operating strategy may finally be the one that brings real, consistent growth back to the firm.


Our Take



Novell seems to be sticking to its plan, regardless of whether we agree with the company's direction or not. The investors seem to be pleased, SLED makes it into more enterprises, and OpenSUSE is taking shape.

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