Novell Alliance with VMware and Preview of SLES 11

Feb 25, 2009

An alliance is forming between virtualization providers Novell and VMware with a strategy for teamwork. At the same time Novell is providing a glimpse of its upcoming SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) version 11.

On February 17 Linux Magazine covered Red Hat's virtualization agreement with Microsoft, followed shortly thereafter with Red Hat's vision for its new virtualization products. Now Citrix has gone into a pact with Microsoft to announce its free Citrix Xen Enterprise Server.

Not wanting to be left behind, Novell is now collaborating with VMware. The two partners are working to allow independent vendor redistribution of virtual appliances built on SLES. ISVs can use WMware Studio to build an appliance optimised for the VMware ESX platform. Novell sees VMware Studio as a complement to its own SUSE Studio for SLES applications. One of the first ISV implementors is Zmanda, which will "soon" produce an open source backup appliance as part of VMware's Virtual Appliance Marketplace. Novell and VMware plan a further collaborative project on their own virtual appliance variant. The cooperative agreement extends also to common support and marketing, alternately for VMware ESX and SLES.

Meanwhile completion of Novell's SLES version 11 is in high gear. SLES 11 should provide some new system management capabilities and improved power management, including control groups that allow more granular handling of CPU, memory, storage and network resources. Power management solutions include tickless idle to allow the CPU to remain longer in power-saving states. A fast update stack could jack up SLES performance by accelerating the resolution dependencies "by over 100 times," making applications easier to run. Systems should also deploy faster through improvements to the YaST manager and configuration framework, including the YaST partitioner and AutoYaST.

Users wanting to test SLES 11 before the official release end of March can order the Server version as well as the Desktop (SLED) alpha version from Novell's sneak preview website.

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