Companies who push forward on virtualization or cloud computing, or let their employees and departments do so, without setting up an identity management and security framework, are putting themselves in "real danger," Gebel said.
"You can't dismiss security and identity management just because the computing model is changing. It's no excuse," he said.
Gebel said Novell has the technical goods to back up its marketing push, citing a demonstration of the beta for Novell Identity Manager 4, which he said was "pretty impressive."
"The integration with the virtualization and cloud workloads looked like it was working well," he said.
Gordon Haff, an analyst with Illuminata, said it will be a challenge for Novell to make all of its tools work together elegantly.
"A lot of moving parts and the trick is to get everything glued together in a coherent way," Haff said. "I also don't see it as fundamentally different from what other vendors are doing, whether it is VMware, IBM, Citrix, or Microsoft."