Novell and VMware team up on Linux

Novell and VMware have joined forces to make it easier to use the SUSE Linux distribution on the virtualisation firm's systems.

The companies will be offering free evaluation versions of software appliances for SUSE Linux Enterprise to vendors using VMware Studio, to make the creation of such appliances easier and less costly. VMware is also set to support and optimise SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as a guest operating system on its ESX hypervisor.

Nat Friedman, Novell's chief technology and strategy officer for open source, told IT PRO that this agreement means vendors can "build, ship and use appliances on VMware's hypervisor that use SUSE Linux OS, and that both companies are going to support it."

And, if something goes wrong, they'll work together with firms to sort it out. "We're not going to just point fingers at the other," he said.

Friedman said such appliances are the way forward for software, as it saves firms the trouble of installation. Rather than go through the often arduous set-up process, companies can use software appliances that are pre-configured and include all the necessary applications.

"Our theory is that [installation] is a huge waste of time," said Friedman, adding that with appliances, the end customer gets a full solution with the specific components required.

Friendman compared it to buying a car. "You don't buy the engine from one place, and the wheels from another," he said. "The software industry has been like that for decades."

He said the idea is picking up fans, with Novell's do-it-yourself appliance builder SUSE Studio signing up over 20,000 people, despite it not being widely made public.

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