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Novell News Summary - Part II: All About SLES Virtualisation

THERE WAS LITTLE NEWS about SLE* this week, except for some announcements about virtualisation. There is an article that IDG spread all over the place (well, in its many Web sites anyway) about SUSE appliances. This came through VMworld's coverage.

The modularity and licensing of Linux makes it well suited as the platform of choice for the burgeoning software appliance market, a Novell executive said at the VMworld conference in Cannes.

Software appliances are applications that come prepackaged with an operating system on, for example, a virtual machine or a USB stick.


eWeek took a glance at Lenovo's ThinkServers which happen to favour SLES and there was also some detailed assessment. Eventually, a slideshow was put together and published too.



InstallFree takes its name seriously and requires no installed components to practice its brand of application virtualization, a key differentiator from app virtualization offerings from such competitors as Microsoft, Citrix Systems, Novell, VMware and Symantec.


As discussions about the Red Hat-Microsoft agreement carry on, the roles of Novell, Red Hat, and Microsoft are still being analysed further.

The Microsoft virtualization agreement with Red Hat was the deal Novell should have done: all business, no fanfare, and no patent protection clauses. Oh, and watch out VMware.


More on the same topic:

What's prompted this mutual nonaggression pact? Red Hat resisted a patent agreement in 2006 and 2007, when it came under pressure from Microsoft to sign one. At one point, CEO Steve Ballmer declared that Linux users with no Microsoft assurance of IP safety were carrying "an undisclosed balance sheet liability." Novell, distributor of SUSE Linux, signed a patent pact with Microsoft, along with several smaller Linux vendors; Red Hat refused.

"We didn't believe licensing of IP should be made a condition of interoperability," said Brian Stevens, CTO of Red Hat, in an interview during a visit to San Francisco this week. In the Microsoft/Novell pact, Novell paid Microsoft for intellectual property and Microsoft bought Linux support coupons from Novell. There's been no exchange of intellectual property or payments in the virtualization agreement, said Stevens. "This virtualization agreement wouldn't have happened if, two years ago, we had signed a patent agreement," he added.


Gordon Haff wonders about just embedding the hypervisors.

A few years back, I had written a piece about how Novell and Red Hat were adding the Xen hypervisor to their Linux distributions. And that Microsoft had made clear its intention to add virtualization to Windows--technology now known as Hyper-V. In short, virtualization was starting to move into the operating systems of a number of vendors.


VMLogix pops up out of nowhere and signs a deal with Citrix.

VMLogix and Citrix have signed a new strategic OEM agreement that will provide interoperability by bringing VMLogix's hypervisor-agnostic virtual lab automation and stage management capabilities to both XenServer and Hyper-V.

[...]

VMLogix will continue to support, innovate, and independently offer VMLogix management products on the Microsoft and VMware hypervisors. VMLogix also remains committed to supporting other hypervisors (e.g., Sun, Red Hat, Novell, and Oracle) as they become widely available in due course.


Here is some more analysis of Red Hat and KVM (or other virtualisation technologies), which Oracle is not exploiting 'properly'.

If KVM already is part of the Linux kernel, why would Red Hat customers need to wait for it to be added to their enterprise version? The enterprise versions from both Novell and Red Hat lag behind kernel updates, which occur independently every 3 to 4 months. (Both Novell and Red Hat included KVM in the more frequently released community editions of their code.


 

Oracle lags other vendors in VM-friendly licensing, expert says



[...]

By this standard, most operating system licensing policies are virtualization friendly. For instance, Microsoft Windows Server 2003/2008, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Sun Microsystems' Solaris 10 are all licensed per physical server or per VM running instance, and Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 is licensed per physical server.

When it comes to applications and databases, licensing models are more diverse. Oracle 11g database licensing is based on physical server CPUs; IBM Lotus Domino 8 is licensed per user; Novell GroupWise 7 is licensed per running environment, whether it is for physical or virtual environments, plus client seats; and Citrix XenApp is licensed based on concurrent client connections, according to Wolf's data.


VMware


The ugliness around Citrix was highlighted some days ago [1, 2] along with the Microsoft-VMware connections that can be presented in terms of evidence. The following important press release heralded that Novell too is getting close to VMware. As Shane pointed out a few days ago, no patents needed to be involved, either.

Novell today announced a broad collaboration with VMware to help independent software vendors (ISVs) build fully supported SUSE€® Linux Enterprise-based virtual appliances. This joint collaboration offers ISVs using VMware Studio a free evaluation redistribution of appliances built on fully supported SUSE Linux Enterprise, a unique offering that helps them streamline and simplify the process of creating virtual appliances. In addition, the companies are jointly working with ISVs to develop VMware Readyâ„¢ virtual appliances powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise. As a result, ISVs can offer their customers a complete, out-of-the-box solution that requires minimal installation and configuration, thus significantly reducing cost and complexity.


Linux Electrons presents the same as the above with a few words changed and coverage that followed was everywhere. Larry Dignan used the somewhat obnoxious word frenemy”:

The Novell-VMware tie-up is interesting in the context of the various “frenemy” combinations in the virtualization industry.


Among the other coverages:

i. Novell, VMware To Create Virtual Appliances For Linux

In response to archrival Red Hat's flurry of virtualization announcements this month, Novell, has agreed to collaborate with VMware to help developers create virtual appliances for SuSE Linux Enterprise.


ii. Novell plays Casablanca in Virtualization Wars

In short, Novell is playing the role of Casablanca in the newly heated up virtualization wars. By being neutral, Novell hopes to do well no matter who eventually wins.


iii. VMware, Novell hatch virtual appliance scheme

Virtualization specialist VMware has teamed up with commercial Linux distributor Novell to create software appliances based on Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) wrapped up in VMware's ESX Server virtual machines. The deal was inked at the VMworld festivities in Cannes this week.


iv. Novell and Vmware in virtual union

LINUX DISTRIBUTOR Novell has teamed up with VMware at the VMworld virtual Cannes festival this week, to enable independent software sellers to build their own SUSE Linux Enterprise virtual appliances. The deal also means the pair can now make Vmware-ready, out-of-the-box virtual appliances on SUSE Linux.


v. triCerat Exhibits at VMworld Europe; Increases Investment in Southern European Market

triCerat exhibits alongside such respected companies as Hitachi Data Systems, Global Knowledge, Novell, Parallels, and Intel. "Avoiding Pitfalls: The Hidden Costs of Managing Your VMware Infrastructure" and "Achieving Infrastructure Agility Through Virtualization" are just a few of the knowledgeable breakout sessions offered this year. Hands-on labs covering known software along with new technologies yet to be seen by the public are also taking place at this premiere virtualization event.


vi. Novell, VMware push virtual appliances on Suse Linux

As part of the agreement, independent software vendors using VMware Studio to create virtual appliances for VMware's ESX hypervisor are being offered a "free evaluation redistribution of appliances" built on the Suse Linux Enterprise operating system, Novell and VMware said in a statement Tuesday.


More in:



Xenocode


Xenocode, which has roots in Microsoft, still boasts this 'licensing' link with Novell.

Obata noted that Xenocode technology has already been licensed by Novell and is available as part of Novell Zenworks Application Virtualization.


From the press release:

Xenocode technology has been licensed by Novell and is available as part of Novell ZENworks Application Virtualization.


What does this relationship [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] mean to Microsoft?

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