IBM Gets Tighter With Green, Novell

SAN FRANCISCO — Though IBM sells and supports both Novell and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Big Blue is getting closer with Novell, at least on the middleware side.

IBM announced today that WebSphere Application Server Community Edition (WAS CE) will be shipped and supported in Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES). As part of the deal, IBM will work with Novell to help end users migrate from Red Hat’s JBoss middleware, which competes directly with WAS CE.

In parallel with the new Novell integration IBM also announced WAS CE 2.0 which has full JavaEE 5 support will be generally available later this year. WAS CE is based on Apache Geronimo and has been part of the IBM portfolio since the acquisition of commercial Geronimo vendor Gluecode in May 2005.

In addition to WAS CE, IBM will be integrating its Open Collaboration Client with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED). The open collaboration client will run IBM’s Lotus Notes and Sametime as well as supporting office suite functionality that uses the OpenDocument Format (ODF). The client is based on the EclipseRCP (rich client platform), which IBM is helping to support and develop through the open source Eclipse Foundation

Inna Kuznetsova, director of IBM Linux Strategy, declined to comment on any financial aspect of the partnership with Novell.

Though IBM was talking up its Novell partnerships, it’s not leaving behind its other enterprise Linux partner. Kuznetsova told that the partnership announcements with Novell should not be considered to be anti-Red Hat moves. She noted that IBM would be happy to partner with Red Hat and explained that IBM is working closely with Red Hat on other initiatives.

Among them is a new integrated blade server based virtualization offering called the IBM Information Server Blade. Red Hat is the operating system that powers the offering, which includes blade hardware and a data integration software platform.

IBM is also using LinuxWorld as a pulpit to preach its Big Green Linux initiative, which is an outgrowth of Project Big Green that IBM announced in May. The general idea is to consolidate compute capacity onto more heavily utilized compute platforms that will save on power.

IBM has the support of the Linux Foudnation with its Big Green Linux initiatives.

“Linux stands for freedom, choice and for saving the planet,” Jim Zemelin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, told a morning press conference at the LinuxWorld conference here. He argued that open source is uniquely suited to address the green trend because of the speed of innovation in Linux.

“You can scratch your power itch faster through the open source power methodology.”

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