Dell Expands Linux Options with Novell Deal

In a move that gives Linux greater play in the data center, Dell has reached an agreement with Novell to certify Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 on Dell PowerEdge servers.

The companies said the deal would give customers more choices for fully-supported Linux platform developments. Dell Services will also assist customers throughout the lifecycle of their deployments.

Agreement terms allow customers to purchase Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 with their single- and dual-processor PowerEdge 1850, 2800 and 2850 servers in the fourth quarter.

Strengthens Partnership

“Today’s announcement marks an important expansion of Dell and Novell’s longstanding industry relationship,” said IDC research director Al Gillen. “It provides Dell Linux customers more platform choice for fully supported operating systems, and gives Novell customers a new option for deploying Linux in their IT infrastructure.”

Dell executives said the partnership will provide customers another robust and scalable enterprise platform to replace costly proprietary UNIX-based systems or to deploy Linux for the first time.

“This is another great example of Dell and Novell’s ability to work together to move standards-based computing further into the data center,” said Linda York, vice president of global alliances marketing in Dell’s Product Group.

David Patrick, vice president, Linux, open source and platform services at Novell, said Dell’s decision to collaborate with Novell on Linux is a vote of confidence in the company’s Linux strategy.

Expanding Alliances

“Existing Novell customers get new options for their future hardware platform needs, while new customers gain a top-notch enterprise Linux offering on one of the most robust server platforms in the world, backed by Novell’s global ecosystem of enterprise-level Linux services,” Patrick said.

Bill Claybrook, principal of New River Marketing Research, told the LinuxInsider that this is a significant move for Dell since its has long partnered exclusively with Red Hat for Linux-based servers.

“Dell customers who need certain applications to run their business may not find them all on Red Hat,” Claybrook said. “There may also be performance implications. Customers want choice. They want a choice of hardware and they want a choice of where they can buy Linux. Open-source software isn’t intended to be distributed by a single source.”

The Novell operating system will be bundled with the Dell server. Annual server maintenance subscriptions are available for US$175 per single-CPU server and $269 for a dual-CPU server. A joint service agreement between the two companies provides customers with the same levels of award-winning support for SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 as all other operating systems.

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