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Novell Software Linux

Novell's Linux Business Takes a Seat At the Grown-Up Table 101

CNet is reporting that while Novell still has a long way to go before they start making Red Hat nervous, they have at least gotten a seat at the grown-up table. Reporting 31% year-over-year growth in their Linux business, Novell attributes very little of this success to their Microsoft partnership, looking to their Redmond connection mainly for interoperability work. "Novell's core Linux business is growing. By 'core,' I mean that our non-Microsoft- related Linux business is growing. These are Suse Linux Enterprise Server subscriptions sold directly by the Novell sales force or by our channel partners, without any Microsoft certificates or Microsoft salespeople involved. However, the important thing is that our total revenue picture for Suse Linux Enterprise is growing, as our customers increasingly don't distinguish. As we've said before, Microsoft offers an alternate avenue for purchasing subscriptions but we are focused on growth of the whole category."
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Novell's Linux Business Takes a Seat At the Grown-Up Table

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  • Frosty Posts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anarke_Incarnate ( 733529 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:14PM (#23601793)
    Go Novell. Competition = good
    • Re:Frosty Posts (Score:5, Informative)

      by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:22PM (#23601937) Journal
      I was at Novell Brainshare this year and I can say firsthand that their commitment to open source seems genuine. I was impressed with the amount of work they are doing, not only moving to a Linux based platform and phasing out Netware as an OS altogether, but in taking their partners with them. There were some very good seminars on porting Netware applications to Linux, using the GNU tools like autoconf, and Linux security.
      • Re:Frosty Posts (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anarke_Incarnate ( 733529 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:23PM (#23602409)
        Speaking of security, I kinda like 2 things about Apparmor vs SELinux (which oddly, Canonical chose for Ubuntu, over SELinux). One, the control follows the relative path to the file as opposed to the inode. Now, some may like it the other way around, but if you update the executable, as long as the path stays the same, no changes have to be made. This increases the chance of an administrator NOT forgetting to update the settings for the restrictions during an update or for a patch where they have not gotten all the details. The other reason...It is not written by the NSA. Call me nutty, but I don't exactly like the involvement of government in my software.
        • Re:Frosty Posts (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mrsteveman1 ( 1010381 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:40PM (#23602617)
          That last point is sort of irrelevant, its open source.

          If the NSA wants to develop security frameworks they obviously can, and the main kernel devs seem happy to incorporate their work into the kernel.

          If you have some reason to not trust SELinux, much as i hate it, do tell.
          • by hxnwix ( 652290 )

            Call me nutty, but I don't exactly like the involvement of government in my software.


            sort of irrelevant, its open source

            The opportunity to review patches written by Chinese intelligence agencies would be no more reassuring.

            Widely reviewed random number generators and encryption algorithms are one thing. That some of these are regarded as dubious while others are seen as strong is encouraging. Kilobytes of patches touching every part of the kernel are rightly regarded with caution...

            • Hell are you kidding?

              SELinux was merged a long time ago, and is in use in certain situations already.

              Please stop with the paranoia, or tell me how completely open code can somehow let the NSA spy on you, because thats what people are implying when they bring this crap up.

              This is not closed code, nor is it somehow able to hide what it is doing, unless of course you don't read the code before patching mainline with it.

              PRNG and ciphers are different, there could be weaknesses in them of course but YOU CAN SEE
        • Re:Frosty Posts (Score:4, Interesting)

          by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Friday May 30, 2008 @03:05PM (#23602949) Journal
          I like Apparmor because it is much much easier to configure and use than SELinux. It also creates less of a performance drain.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Pros_n_Cons ( 535669 )
          You're right about government involvement. Thats why i dont read books. who knows what kinda words they can put in there without us knowing!

          Infact im getting rid of Ethernet since nasa wrote most of the drivers.
  • by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:15PM (#23601803)
    so that $367 million Microsoft paid Novell in 2007 alone had nothing to do with profitablity and growth. glad to hear it
    • by Anarke_Incarnate ( 733529 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:17PM (#23601859)
      Having worked with Red Hat and Novell as well as HP, Sun and IBM on *NIX, I have to give Novell credit on their support. They tend to go the extra mile and I even really like their documentation better than Red Hat's. Red Hat's kickstart has fewer issues than AutoYaSt, but YaST as a tool to manage servers, plus Novell's Zenworks Linux Management is awesome in capabilities. It seems to just be easier to make things happen on SUSE for me.

      But, now at my current job, it is all RHEL and HPUX........with a few older sun boxen tossed into the mix.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      actually, all of that money wasn't realized at the agreement time. I think only $100m or so was up front, the rest is only recognized by Novell as the MS certs are given/sold/activated by customers. So out of the remaining portion (which I think is $240m total), I believe since Nov 2006, about 2/3rds of that has been recognized so far...some in fiscal 07 and some in fiscal 08...most was last fiscal year.
  • That's what the flash Ad on this page says at least... "roll over for more". www.moreinterop.com
  • by Stu101 ( 1031686 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:17PM (#23601841) Homepage
    We are late arrivals in linux land. However we are deploying a new suse server a week to replace NT servers. We have gone from zero to 35% in little over 3 months. It really is linux for the enterprise made easy. And whats even better, the toolsets are free, opensuse is free, and no shitty activation codes. It's all gravy, to use a bad term ;)
    • So how do Linux servers compare to NT servers? Have you done any comparions?

      • by Stu101 ( 1031686 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:20PM (#23602375) Homepage
        Well so far we are finding that the amount of maintainance is a lot, lot less. Whereas windows you have multiple install and reboots to set it all up, just turn on the suse update repos, and do a zypper up, and press y several times and bingo you have a patched os.

        Also we are getting better uptime, those little "glitches" you get with windows. Not that they were a major things but annoyance.

        More proof? We needed a new lookup only DNS server. So we dug out a low spec Dell box and used openseuse with yast to install the correct programs, and bingo, within an hour, we had one free, fast, functional dns server. No needing to find a key, or worse, trying to convince some jumped up rep that yes you really did purchase a Windows 2003 license, or even worse still , sorry we cant sell you w2k3 anymore, just windows 2008.

        • You may also want to look at the free VMware Server edition. Having multiple servers that require say >300MB of RAM on a nice 4GB or greater new server is nice. If you have any sort of shared storage like a SAN or even a fast NAS, you can even have the LUNs/Shares mapped to multiple machines. That way, while not "elegant" you can have a hardware failure and then launch the VM on the 2nd box.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by rathaven ( 1253420 )
            Elegant? Try using Heartbeat, OCFS2 and clustered Xen solutions (on top of the Linux iSCSI target/initiator and LVM and DRDB for snapshot and replication). Virtual machine failure with automatic restart and 300ms migration with remote site backup? Nice!

            Novell do a really good implementation guide
            here [novell.com]
            • I realized it was not an elegant solution, but I will definitely have to look at that write up. I have bounced around at companies a bit lately and will likely stay where I am because I finally kinda like it here. However they are RH and not even RH and SLES.

              Regardless, The last place I worked was a big shop that did hosting and client services (large UK company's presence in the US). They had a client with a RH cluster that they kept on complaining about and having it fence off nodes, etc. Of course

              • In all honesty, compared to the ESX server products with all the trimmings it is a little nasty to get running - and even when running you wonder where certain functionality is - until you remember its on Linux and script your own.

                Eventually though, you start wondering why people pay so much more when you just keep getting more functionality that works.

                As for the solution - Heartbeat and Xen both take some tweaking to get right but are fine and stable when they are right and the other parts of the solution
            • I have been looking at this, but have heard from some colleagues that Xen performance is not up to par with solutions like VMware when you don't use the Xensource drivers. Have you had any other experiences than theirs? How is I/O performance compared to native machine performance? Does it abstract the hardware the same way (relatively) VMware does?
        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          and if you supply the '-n' switch - as in "zypper -n up" , you don`t even have to press y several times :)
      • by MrMr ( 219533 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:42PM (#23602647)
        Well, why not ask Novell's business partner:

        http://www.microsoft.com/canada/getthefacts/default.mspx [microsoft.com]

        With friends like that...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by y86 ( 111726 )
        I run 2 applications for a major retailer. One runs on AIX (and has some linux nodes), the other runs on MS Server 2003.

        I've never been paged at 4AM because my Linux/AIX boxes rebooted in the middle of a major data aggregation job because of an automatic update.

        In fact my AIX / linux boxes all have uptimes of over 700 days, except one of my new servers which has been up 200 days.

        The windows server is relatively stable, besides the occasional freeze up(like 2-3 times a year it hardlocks). The real PIA is th
        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          by FictionPimp ( 712802 )
          Why in the holy fuck would you ever turn on automatic updates on a production server?

          Don't you have a test enviroment?

          Fucking noob.
          • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Be nice, the guy is obviously some kind of retard. (as evidence, he's the guy who gets called at 4am)
            • by y86 ( 111726 )
              A retard who makes 6 figures.
              • Maybe you should then donate for a test server and turn off automatic updates? Or they should take some of your salary and hire someone who knows something about administering computers.

                Money does not equal skill. I've seen interns who knew more about what they were doing then the 'professionals' they were working under.
          • You could always give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that management heard his concerns and said "We'll assume all risks" which means "You take the fall when my manager asks why shit went wrong."
          • by y86 ( 111726 )

            Why in the holy fuck would you ever turn on automatic updates on a production server?

            Don't you have a test enviroment?

            We have a server administration team that will roll out 0 day exploit patches to production servers. We use tivoli and our own MS patching server(SMS) to control these updates and packages.

            I have 2 test environment for all of my systems, a test and a qual environment.

            Perhaps it's out server admin team who is to blame for this. All I know is that my windows applications are a PIA.

        • Hmm - there's been quite a few security updates for the Linux kernel lately, that affect the version in Debian stable. I've been rebooting our Linux boxes a fair bit lately as a result...

          YMMV if you're still running a 2.4 kernel though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by alexborges ( 313924 )
      If you were going on the free (as in really free-free) side of the ecuation, youd have done a lot better in centos,scilinux, mandriva, debian or ubuntu.

      In particular Mandriva's conf screens beats the ---- out of yast any day of the week and twice on sunday.
  • by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:17PM (#23601851) Homepage
    According to this page, http://www.moreinterop.com/solutions/benefits/ [moreinterop.com], they are "The Most Interoperable Open Source Platform on the Market Today"
  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:09PM (#23602233)
    Is this good news? Are novell sales up, in part, due to their dirty-deal with msft?

    I could argue that apple and sun also benefited from their deals with msft.

    But, long term, although the individual deals are often beneficial, at least in the short term; the long term effects of these deals is to further entrench msft standards.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by oatworm ( 969674 )
      Personally, I'm happy to see "embrace and extend" applied against Microsoft. Microsoft overturned industry-established standards by embracing them (adopting them, providing interoperability with them, etc.), then creating Microsoft-only extensions that locked people into their products. Now, Novell is giving Microsoft a little taste of their own medicine, embracing .NET and turning it into Mono, among other things.

      The only way we're going to get back to truly open standards for everyone is if we accept
      • Personally, I'm happy to see "embrace and extend" applied against Microsoft. Microsoft overturned industry-established standards by embracing them (adopting them, providing interoperability with them, etc.), then creating Microsoft-only extensions that locked people into their products. Now, Nov ell is giving Microsoft a little taste of their own medicine, embracing .NET and turning it into Mono, among other things.

        WTF? Who uses Mono? I thought Mono was completely borked, and a joke to real developers? Besides, what does Mono have to do with novl/msft scam? And how does this use "embrace and extend" against msft?

        The only way we're going to get back to truly open standards for everyone is if we accept the reality that, at the current time, a lot of standards are Microsoft-only, and only by providing a clean interoperability path with existing tech will we ever be able to migrate to something better

        So we should go along with the msft/novl scam, and agree that Linux is patent encumbered, and that Linux needs this dirty under-the-table deal to be legal? And that only novl Linux is legal to use?

  • The first thing Novell did when they acquired SuSE was change the name to SUSE. Sort of thing that separates the amateurs from the pros. Like when Intergalactic Digital Research [digitalresearch.biz] switched to a grownup name.
    • by Sique ( 173459 )
      What was wrong with SuSE?

      The company's full name was Software- und System-Entwicklungsgesellschaft (Software and System Development Society), and S.u.S.E. is just the abbreviation. I don't see anything wrong with that.
      • by fm6 ( 162816 )
        You're either a very good typist, or a very bad one.
      • "What was wrong with SuSE?"

        You answered your own question.

        What's wrong with SuSE? That SuSE is an acrostic for "Software und System-Entwicklungsgesellschaft" and the product name for Novell's Linux distribution is "Software und System-Entwicklungsgesellschaft" no more thus the old acrostic doesn't hold water.

        Current Novell's Linux distribution's name is SUSE. What is wrong with that?
        • by Sique ( 173459 )
          Nothing. I just didn't understand fm6's allegation, that changing SuSE to SUSE somehow was a sign to "be grownup".

          SuSE was the acronym for the company which distributed SuSE Linux. I don't see any childish behaviour there.
  • "grown-up table" ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:40PM (#23602615)
    So, I actually went and R'd the FA, because I was curious about this phrase -- of course, it doesn't appear in the article, so I can only assume that it was the submitter's invention.

    That said, what, exactly, constitutes the "grown-up table" and who sits there? Does it mean that they're now a player against Red Hat? Against Sun? "Endorsed" by Microsoft?

    What exactly are the rules of the game at this point. 10-15 years ago, BSD and Linux were going head-to-head against commercial UNIX, such as Solaris, HP-UX and the like. Now, Sun is getting back to its roots and open sourcing Solaris (Bill Joy, original BSD author and creator of vi and csh was a founding partner of Sun, after all).

    It seems that from old metrics, the "grown ups" are trying to sit at the "kid table."

    Does that indicate that we now look at Microsoft as "grown up?" Are we talking merely from a business standpoint, not technological? I surely hope that is the case.
    • by arhhook ( 995275 )
      My question is what they're doing at this "Grown-Up" table? Is the table meaning they're all getting along friendly? Cooperating, making decisions together? For some reason, I just don't see Beastie, Tux, and the other OSS mascots sitting around chumming with Microsoft?
    • by wilec ( 606904 ) *
      "Does that indicate that we now look at Microsoft as "grown up?""

      We must be, 'cause kids don't lie about or refuse to be accountable for their actions or toss chairs in angry hissy fits do they?

  • Novell is Microsoft's Trojan Horse against Linux and thats ALL it is.

    They are selling their "differentiation through interoperability" so that they appear as a Microsoft friendly Linux.

    A complete lie, of course, because if there is one thing true about the GPL, is that they cannot do anything without giving it back. Particularily in samba.

    • Wrongo, chum.

      They are selling a distribution that actually does seem to "get along better" with a windows environment right out of the box. Sure, you can do the same things with Red Hat, but it is just a tad easier with the features in YaST to get things done.

      They are not MS' bitch, Trojan horse, or anything else. I may be wrong on this, but Novell contribute a "Metric Shit Ton" towards F/OSS software and are champions of it, in general. The deal with MS is being blown way out of proportion.

  • I abandoned RedHat when they first adopted the Redmond sales model with their WS, AS, and ES products. Nothing like telling the suits "Linux can save money" and then have the price of the OS make MS CALs look like a good deal.

    Novell's offering has been very, very stable for the server environment, and at a very reasonable price. Plus, I like what Novell has done for OpenSuse (my preferred choice for desktop platform).

    Good price, good stable environment, and even contributing back to the greater community.
  • Novell may attribute its earnings "outside of the Microsoft deal" in more ways than one. To many IT buyers, a Microsoft-tainted Linux supplier is the equivalent of napalm. I can certainly attest that we've done absolutely no business with Novell since they signed the deal, and will continue to avoid Novell as a vendor for as long as the Microsoft contract is in effect. Red Hat, on the other hand, has remained "pure" and has received the majority of our Linux business.
  • "The grown up table" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vexorian ( 959249 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @06:27PM (#23605329)

    So, was the rats' table full?

    Novell attributes it to the MS-FUD deal, yeah of course, if you receive big large amounts of money from another company so you paid them for every purchase done to you, and you would also use this fact to advertise yourself as more legal and "more interoperable" than other distros, it probably will put you in a high spot. However, that doesn't make you less of a rat.

    Smearing other Linux bussiness and using false advertising to climb and steal their market, it makes you a rat in a book.

    Oh, sorry slashdot, I forgot "Novell contributes a lot to free software", so it is untouchable and I cannot make a bad commentary about them or what they are doing to exploit a deal that should have never been made. Sorry for criticizing Novell, uh oh.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27