Dell's OEM Solutions division today said it will offer customized SUSE Linux Enterprise servers to customers. But the far more interesting nugget of information for partners involves SUSE Studio, which Dell will use to build and deploy customized Linux application stacks. Here's why.

For channel partners, the Dell-SUSE relationship is worth watching. It has been about a year since Attachmate acquired Novell and SUSE Linux. In recent months, SUSE -- essentially a division of Attachmate -- has scored multiple wins with Dell. First came a cloud computing relationship between Dell and SUSE, which involves VMware. Now comes the SUSE-Dell OEM agreement.

Smart SUSE Move

Keep a close eye on SUSE Studio, one of the best gifts Novell executives offered the Linux community before selling the company to Attachmate.

Generally speaking, SUSE Studio has allowed third-party ISVs (independent software vendors) to rapidly build application stacks on SUSE Linux. Most of the chatter around SUSE Studio has involved so-called software appliances, which can ease application deployments for channel partners and customers.

No doubt, Dell has relationships with multiple Linux distributions -- including SUSE, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Canonical Ubuntu. But SUSE apparently is the "first Linux vendor" in the Dell OEM Technology Partner program.

Sort of makes you wonder: Is something deeper brewing between Dell and SUSE? Hmmm...