Novell Announces SUSE Appliance Program

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Waltham, Mass. — April 16
Novell announced the creation of the SUSE Appliance Program to enable independent software vendors (ISVs) to create appliances combining their applications with the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform in one integrated package for end-customer deployment. Novell also announced the beta release of SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS, a minimized version of the award-winning SUSE Linux Enterprise platform that ISVs can use as a platform for creating appliances. As a result, ISVs will realize simplified application deployment and support while dramatically reducing development costs and easing deployment of applications by end customers.

“IDC believes software appliances will play an important role in the future of application deployments,” said Al Gillen, research vice president of system software at IDC. “Software appliances empower ISVs to deliver a fully configured, optimized software stack that incorporates the operating system, lower-level infrastructure products and applications in a unified, easily managed package. This emerging form factor ensures seamless interaction between the operating system and the application and directly leverages the virtual infrastructure that customers are putting in place today. We expect the endorsement of major operating systems vendors such as Novell will help accelerate both the awareness and the adoption of software appliances.”

The SUSE Appliance Program will enable ISVs to bundle their applications with customized versions of the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform and to deliver the bundle as a software appliance that can be run natively on x86-based hardware or as a virtual appliance that includes a paravirtualized kernel designed to deliver optimal performance in a virtualized environment. Virtual appliances built in the SUSE Appliance Program will run on customers' choice of hypervisor, including Xen, VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V, as both a paravirtualized and fully virtualized guest.

Through the SUSE Appliance Program, Novell will collaborate with ISVs to develop the technology necessary to deliver applications in appliance format. IDC estimates the appliance market will be nearly $700 million in 2011. In the coming months, Novell will release several new components of the SUSE Appliance Program, including a new automated tool to build appliances.

Nat Friedman, chief technology and strategy officer for open source at Novell, said, “Virtualization and the appliance model are simplifying the task of distributing applications to end customers. We've heard from multiple ISVs that they want to deploy their application in an appliance. Our SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS release is a perfect platform for creating and distributing ISV applications. With today's announcement of the beta release of SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS and an accompanying early adopter program, we are inviting ISVs to try SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS and help us build the perfect platform and practices for appliance deployment.”

Just Enough Operating System
SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS — or “just enough operating system” — is a minimized edition of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server that ISVs can use as a starting point for developing appliances. SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS is built from the same codebase as SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and applications certified to run on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server will carry that certification onto the JeOS platform, as well. As a result, ISVs can more easily support the complete appliance for their enterprise customers.

In addition, Novell announced it will officially participate in the LimeJeOS project, an existing community-led project building a minimized version of the openSUSE Linux distribution.

The term JeOS refers to a customized operating system that precisely fits the needs of a particular application. The application's OS requirements can be determined manually or with an analytical tool. JeOS includes only the pieces of an operating system required to support a particular application and any other third-party components contained in the appliance. This makes the appliance more efficient, smaller, more secure and higher performing than an application running under a full, general-purpose operating system.

A key component of the SUSE Appliance Program, the beta release of SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS is available in several virtual image formats, including VMware VMDK, Xen and as a raw hard disk image. A Microsoft VHD format of SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS is planned for release later this year after Microsoft releases Hyper-V.

ISV Support
Novell has started an early adopter program for ISVs who are already working with SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS.

George Mooseiner, CEO of SEP, said, “The SUSE Appliance Program offers the innovation and flexibility we need to develop and bundle our SEP sesam Backup & Disaster Recovery applications in either physical or virtual environments. The ability to do so with the virtualization capabilities of SUSE Linux Enterprise addresses what customers require in simplifying application deployments and reducing overall costs.”

Vijay Prasanna Pullur, CTO of Pramati Technologies, said, “The SUSE Appliance Program offers Pramati the flexibility we need to develop and bundle our middleware/application stack in either physical or virtual environments. The ability to do so with a customized operating system that precisely fits the needs of a particular application allows us to simplify customer application deployments and reduce costs.”

Availability
A beta version of SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS is available for download at www.novell.com/linux/appliance. Details about becoming an early adopter in the SUSE Appliance Program can also be found at that site. The production version of SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS is scheduled for release later this year. LimeJeOS is available at www.opensuse.org/limejeos. 

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