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Novell to Open Enterprise to Netware and Linux

Novell announced today that it was moving up the timetable by 10 months on its new Open Enterprise Server (OES). The new server, due out in February, will include Novell's NetWare operating systems, as well as its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 9.

OES also will include a new common management interface that promises to make migration and management easier for both Linux and Netware. According to Charlie Ungashick, director for product marketing and management for Linux, Open Source and Platform Services at Novell, Netware customers have been asking for this type of server.

"Our customers have reacted quite positively to several things Open Enterprise Server provides," Ungashick told internetnews.com. "With the core Novell network services running on either Linux or NetWare, IT professionals have the choice about how and when they migrate their IT infrastructure. Since the core services behave the same way, moving to Linux is easy, with practically zero interruption for end users."

OES will not be the first opportunity offered by Novell to its customer to use both Netware and Linux together. In fact, Ungashick claims that "many" Novell customers are using Netware and Linux together today.

"In December, 2003, Novell delivered Enterprise Linux Services, which allowed current NetWare customers to start running some of the classic NetWare services on Linux," Ungashick explained. "In February, Novell will deliver Open Enterprise Server, a combined NetWare and Linux offering, that will enable customers to run the advanced Novell services on NetWare, Linux, or both.

"This will mark the opportunity for NetWare customers to begin a transition from NetWare to Linux if this direction makes sense for their environment," he added.

SLES on its own also offers interoperability with Netware out of the box, though it does not offer the same level of functionality as that promised by OES.

"OES enables IT professionals to more effectively use Linux for IT infrastructure, particularly when servers are deployed in clusters or disparate locations," Ungashick said.

The server is expected to be available as an open beta in late November. Earlier this week, Novell pulled the wraps off of it latest consumer version of SUSE Linux, version 9.2.