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New Owner of Novell Might Be Cloud Expo Sponsor VMware

Wall Street Journal is reporting VMware is in talks to acquire Novell's Linux software unit

Who is buying Novell? The Wall Street Journal is reporting that VMware is in talks to acquire Novell's Linux software unit. Novell, adds the Journal, is in "advanced talks with at least two buyers." VMware's primary interest would be in purchasing Novell's SUSE Linux operating system business, experts agree.

What experts don't agree on is whether or not SUSE Linux would be in the best hands, were VMware to be its new custodian. Self-declared "Cyber Cynic" Steve Vaughan-Nichols, for example, notes the irony that the CEO of VMware is none other than an ex-Microsoftie, Paul Maritz (pictured).

So is the fox about to be put in charge of the hen-house?

Gartner VP Chris Wolf says "I think acquiring a mainstream Linux distro makes sense for VMware" and notes:

"If VMware acquires Novell SUSE Linux, it will have a vertical offering much like Microsoft, Oracle, and Red Hat.

Larry Dignan maps the - very impressive - software stack that VMware would have, were it to make the acquisition:

If VMware did buy SUSE it would have:
  • A virtualization platform.
  • vSphere, a cloud operating system.
  • Zimbra, a collaboration and email platform.
  • SpringSource a popular open source development framework.
  • And SUSE, an operating system.

Add it up and VMware’s software stack would largely be complete."

The two companies have been growing closer lately. In June 2010 VMware and Novell announced an expansion to their strategic partnership with an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement through which VMware agreed to distribute and support the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server OS. Under the agreement, VMware declared its intention to standardize its virtual appliance-based product offerings on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

At the time of that announcement, Raghu Raghuram, Sr. VP & and General Manager of the Virtualization and Cloud Platforms at VMware, stressed that  “VMware’s mission is to reduce IT complexity and provide customers a pragmatic path to the cloud.”

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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