Novell aiming to manage virtualisation

Novell aiming to manage virtualisation

Novell is expanding its Zenworks software line-up to span from the desktop to the data centre, unveiling three new products and an update to another tool.

The rollout, announced earlier this week, included Zenworks Virtual Machine Management, which the company says will work in data centres using disparate virtualisation systems, including those from Vmware, Xensource and Microsoft. Novell also introduced Zenworks High-Performance Computing (HPC) Management, which manages Java applications and distributes workloads for parallel execution, and Zenworks Orchestrator for overall policy-based automation.

Tuesday's announcement also introduced Zenworks 7.5 Asset Management, which provides information about IT assets including Windows Vista and Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.

Even as hardware and software virtualisation has cut costs and increased flexibility, data centres have been sprawling and their overall cost is going up, says Joe Wagner, general manager of Novell's system and resource management business unit. Enterprises need tools to simplify, automate, manage and secure their systems, he says.

Novell, once king of the network-management hill, is struggling with tough competition and under fire from the open-source community for a recent technology and support deal with Microsoft. A possible delisting from the Nasdaq also looms amid an ongoing review of stock-option grants. By aiming to make sense of virtualisation, the company may tap into a growing trend.

Zenworks Virtual Machine Management is the first product of its kind for heterogenous virtual machine environments, Wagner says. The HPC Management tool can move large volumes of data to remote locations where resources are available to process it. Under the Orchestrator software, the product line can use policies to schedule jobs, reserve resources and change priorities on the fly when needed, according to Novell.

The product announcements don't change Novell's relationship with Virtual Iron Software, says Alan Murray, Novell's vice president of product management. Earlier this year, Novell began providing support and application certification for Virtual Iron's virtualisation and management software in Suse Linux. Novell's new products will interoperate with Virtual Iron's and the relationship is ongoing, he says.

Zenworks 7.5 Asset Management is available now for US$33 per user or managed device. The new products will be available in early December, and pricing for them will be disclosed at that time, Novell says.

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