Novell kicked off its annual Brainshare conference today with a slew of
announcements, including updates for its core Linux offerings and a new
enterprise thin-client solution.
The announcements contain a heavy dose of virtualization management, as Red Hat just last
week released its new flagship Linux, which is also heavy on virtualization.
First up is Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Thin Client, which enables administrators to create, manage and deploy thin desktop images across an enterprise. The client, expected later this year, is set to include both SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED), as well as a tool for custom image creation.
The idea of a thin client, a client that does not have the operating
system running on its own local storage but rather from a centralized
networked environment, is certainly not a new idea in the Linux world, though
enterprise class implementation have been lacking.
Red Hat is working on
its stateless Linux effort, which is essentially a thin-client
implementation. Then there is the granddaddy of all Linux thin clients the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP), which has been in the Ubuntu Linux distribution for over a year.
In addition to the new enterprise thin-client effort, Novell is also
updating its core SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 (SLES) platform . Update 1 for
SLES 10 comes eight months after the original release in July.
The virtualization if SLES 10 has been updated to the Xen version 3.0.4 in Update 1. SLES 10 originally shipped with Xen
version 3. Additionally Novell is rolling in some virtualization
enhancements to better enable Microsoft Windows Server 2000/2003/XP to run
in a Xen hypervisor running in SLES. Novell signed a deal with Microsoft in November that includes interoperability as a key deliverable.
Improved interoperability with Microsoft Word 2007 is another key part of
update 1, which now bundles in the latest version of OpenOffice.org, including
the newly released OpenXML/ODF translator to convert Microsoft Word 2007.
Integration with Microsoft’s Active Directory for authentication rounds out
the new interoperability features that Novell is packing into its enterprise
Linux isn’t Novell’s only offering to benefit from the deal with Microsoft.
Novell’s Open Enterprise Server 2, which is soon expected to be in a public
beta, will improve Windows interoperability while virtualizing Novell’s
OES Version 1 was announced over two years ago and is intended to be a bridge between Novell’s Netware and Linux server offerings.