Novell sometime today is expected to launch an app store of sorts called SUSE Gallery, The VAR Guy hears. With SUSE Gallery, partners and end users can browse and download SUSE Linux software appliances that fulfill specific business needs. Here's the scoop, plus an interesting Novell twist involving VMware, and ongoing competition with Red Hat.

Novell is expected to announce SUSE Gallery sometime today (July 27, 2010). The gallery provides "a storefront for end users to access more than 415,000 appliances," according to a Novell draft press release viewed by The VAR Guy.

The SUSE Gallery arrives roughly one year after Novell launched the SUSE Appliance Program. The appliance program helps ISVs to develop turnkey applications for SUSE Linux.

In many ways, Novell has spent the past year addressing SUSE Linux's biggest shortcoming: Lack of ISV (Independent Software Vendor) buzz. Historically, most business-oriented Linux ISVs seemed to focus first on Red Hat development, based on Red Hat's strong position on corporate servers.

But the SUSE Appliance Program has gotten Novell into the ISV game. In fact, Novell says the appliance program has attracted 82,000 users and nearly 3 million downloads since launching a year ago. Plus, the SUSE efforts are part of Novell's broader Intelligent Workload Management (IWM) strategy, which strives to help businesses manage traditional and virtual workloads on-premises or in the cloud.

Novell and VMware vs. Red Hat

And here's the interesting twist: Parag Patel, VP of Global Strategic Alliances at VMware, will personally endorse the SUSE Appliance Program on July 27. Within the draft press release, he states:
“A year after its debut, the SUSE Appliance Program has helped ISVs simplify distribution and deployment of their applications, get to market faster and reduce support costs for themselves and their customers. SUSE Gallery is another step forward in helping software vendors accelerate their customers’ evolution to a virtualized data center as they progress on the journey to cloud computing.”
In recent weeks, Novell and VMware have continued to expand their virtualization partnership. Together, Novell and VMware hope to beat back competition from Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV), an upstart offering based on KVM, an open source hypervisor.

The Novell-VMware business relationship has sparked rumors that VMware is among the bidders to acquire Novell. The VAR Guy doesn't believe the rumors, but he's watching the Novell-VMware relationship closely. And our resident blogger is checking out SUSE Gallery to see if partners and end-customers give it a look.

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