Novell vs. Red Hat: 9 Days to Watch

From August 27 through September 4, The VAR Guy will pay particularly close attention to Novell and Red Hat. That nine-day period will provide a healthy reality check for the Linux market -- and it may also reveal how open source initiatives are shaping up across the IT channel. Here's why.

First up, Novell is scheduled to announce third-quarter results on August 27. The anticipated good news: Novell is expected to deliver a profitable quarter, with results expected to slightly exceed the performance of Novell's Q3 last year, predicts The Motley Fool.

The VAR Guy will be listening closely to hear if Novell provides any early feedback about the company's SUSE Linux appliance program -- which includes an expanded relationship with Tech Data, the big IT distributor. Launched in late July, the early buzz on the Novell ISV effort has been positive. And our resident blogger wants to know if Novell is growing its Linux business faster than the overall Linux market.

Novell Chief Marketing Officer John Dragoon provides some clues in this Aug. 18 blog entry. Expect more news during the Aug. 27 financial call.

Here Comes Red Hat

Once The VAR Guy has gathered insights from Novell, our resident blogger will keep a close eye on Red Hat Summit (Sept. 1-4, Chicago). More than a Linux conference, Red Hat will evangelize its three-pillar strategy (Linux infrastructure, JBoss middleware and virtualization) to customers and channel partners.

Roger Egan, VP of Red Hat's North American Channels, provided some clues about Red Hat's channel direction in this recent FastChat video:

Already, Red Hat is working closely with the Open Source Channel Alliance to train as many as 15,000 Synnex resellers to promote open source solutions. But there are rumblings that distributors beyond Synnex will also attend Red Hat Summit. Hmmm. The VAR Guy needs to hear more.

Once Red Hat Summit wraps up, The VAR Guy expects to have a better feel for Red Hat's relative performance in the channel -- especially as it compares to Novell's 3Q financial report.

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Discuss this Video 3

on Aug 25, 2009
Frankie Says: The VAR Guy thinks you're right. Red Hat seems to have a broader open source strategy, thanks to the fast-growing JBoss middleware business. But Novell remains roughly a $1 billion company with a growing Linux business plus an often-overlooked security/identity management business that also is growing...
Jef Spaleta (not verified)
on Aug 25, 2009
The Var Guy: Did you see the news about Red Hat's HornetQ? They are reaching beyond the JBoss brand.
Frankie Says (not verified)
on Aug 24, 2009
I think people are underestimating Novell. SUSE Linux is coming along but I especially like Novell's Platespin acquisition.
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