Novell tool to link Linux management to Microsoft System Center

Companies also announce progress made in their three-year-old integration agreement

Novell next week plans to release yet another tool that is the product of its three-year-old integration agreement with Microsoft, this time a plug-in for Microsoft's management tools that lets users manage Novell's Suse Linux.

The tool, which will ship June 19, was produced as part of Novell's involvement with the Microsoft/Novell Interoperability Lab, which opened in 2007.

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Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, is designed to extend across seven Suse Linux Enterprise OS services the monitoring capabilities within Operations Manager 2007 R2. Users will be able to monitor both Linux and Windows environments from one console.

For the past three years, Microsoft and Novell have been striving to make it easier for customers to run, integrate and manage Linux and Windows environments and help open source developers steer clear of patent and intellectual property concerns.

There 2006 agreement on a five-year business and technology plan included an investment by Microsoft of $240 million in support/maintenance certificates for Novell's Suse Linux.

The pair also agreed to start the Microsoft/Novell Interoperability Lab.

In November last year, the two released their first joint product produced through the lab -- technology designed to configured and optimize Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server 11 to run as a guest operating system on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V.

On Wednesday, the pair announced progress they have made over the past six months. The two say they have added 100 new customers in that timeframe, which would be double the rate of customer sign-ups over the previous two years.

The pair also said that over the past two-and-a-half years they have sold $200 million certificates for Novell Suse Linux Enterprise Server support and maintenance to more than 300 customers.

In May, Novell reported in its quarterly earnings that it has invoiced $213 million (89 percent) of the original $240 million agreement with Microsoft. Last year, Microsoft promised to spend up to another $100 million on coupons for support on Suse Linux, including the Suse Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) Subscription with Expanded Support program designed to entire Red Hat and CentOS Linux users to switch platforms.

Novell CFO Dana Russell said during the company's second quarter earnings call last month that while Novell has invested heavily in its Linux business, it is not yet profitable. But Russell said Novell plans to break even no later than 12 to 18 months.

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This story, "Novell tool to link Linux management to Microsoft System Center" was originally published by Network World.

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