RealTime IT News

Novell Validates Mixed Stack

Linux vendor Novell will soon release its first multi-vendor software and hardware stack configured around SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), officials said Tuesday.

The Validated Configuration Program (VCP) is designed to certify integrated hardware and software configurations with an eye towards security, systems management, virtualization and high availability.

The application stack offering, the first under the VCP, is a collection of materials documenting the best configuration settings for SLES 9, HP's BL20p and BL30p blade servers, Oracle's database and real application cluster, and JBoss' Application Server 4.0 working in tandem.

It's a sort of how-to manual that also gives performance numbers to demonstrate the multi-vendor components in action.

The materials will be available for customers in the next couple of weeks, with pre-configured components from the vendors available in the third quarter of 2005, said Bruce Lowry, Novell spokesman.

The intent, Lowry said, is to give companies -- and the CIOs who run the network -- more confidence in using the Linux platform through a validated set of components by different vendors.

"A lot of the perceived risk in open source is trying to figure out how to integrate it into what you've already got. Is it going to break what I already have? Can I use open source and close source together?"

Tuesday's announcement is the first in what Novell officials expect will be a long line of partnerships with vendors who develop and manufacture hardware and software on the open source platform.

Talks are under way with a number of organizations, Lowry said, including IBM and MySQL, but customer demand will determine which companies they will focus their attention on next.

In related news Tuesday, Novell officials announced they have struck a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Officials at the software company say they are the first Linux vendor to have struck a deal with the federal department. As part of the arrangement, HHS gets unlimited use of Novell's product line, including SLES, Novell Linux Desktop and identity-based services for security and integration.