As part of an expanded relationship launched today, VMware will distribute and support Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Under the agreement, VMware will standardize its virtual appliance-based products on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, VMware added. Meanwhile, Novell continues to hedge its virtualization bets through an ongoing virtualization relationship with Microsoft, and a separate relationship with Citrix Systems.
Translation: Novell is using a surround-and-conquer strategy to compete against RHEV, which is still a fledgling virtualization option.
Read Between the LinesThere are some juicy subplots to this story. The Novell-VMware move arrives as:
- Red Hat strives to bolster RHEV (an emerging virtualization option) and upstart Canonical promotes virtualization for Ubuntu Linux. In fact, RHEV is expected to be a core theme at Red Hat Summit, scheduled for June 22-25 in Boston.
- Novell continues to promote Intelligent Workload Management as a way to manage physical and virtual applications both on-premises and in the cloud. Virtualization and software appliances are core to the IWM strategy. Having VMware in Novell's corner could give the IWM strategy a lift.
- Novell considers potential buyout offers from an apparent range of bidders. A closer working relationship with VMware could give Novell a potential lift during potential takeover talks.
- Clearly, VMware wants to counter Red Hat as well. Canonical Chief Operating Officer Matt Asay shed some light on the Red Hat vs. VMware war in a recent blog post.
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