SuSE Has Big Plans For Linux

CTO Jurgen Geck says the company's pending acquisition by Novell will help.



SuSE Linux has big plans for helping create standards that will make it easier to integrate and manage apps in open-source IT environments, and the company says its pending acquisition by Novell will only help these plans.

For companies to roll out Linux on an enterprise scale, it has to be easy to deploy and manage, chief technology officer Jurgen Geck said Friday. While a number of SuSE's partners, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Oracle, have made moves to port their management apps to Linux, SuSE also wants these companies to develop an integration standard that includes open APIs that smaller software makers can use to fit within these larger management software architectures running on top of Linux.

Novell's size, customer base, and Red Carpet management software, which it got when it acquired open-source desktop software maker Ximian, make it a good fit to further SuSE's plans for integration standards, Geck says. "Novell takes us to another level."

SCO Group president and CEO Darl McBride this month tried to throw Novell's planned acquisition of SuSE a curve ball by claiming that when Novell sold its rights to Unix System V source code to SCO Group, formerly known as Caldera, the contract included a clause that barred Novell from competing with Unix. McBride claimed that, since Linux is a variation on Unix, a combined Novell-SuSE would be a SCO Group competitor. McBride said this during a conference call announcing his company was paying an additional $1 million in cash and 400,000 shares of stock to law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner to prepare for upcoming Linux-related legal battles.

SuSE affirmed Friday that SCO Group's threat against Novell would not affect the company's plans to buy SuSE. To the contrary, SuSE has been a partner with SCO Group as part of UnitedLinux, Geck says. "Also, doesn't SCO have to be selling something for Novell to compete?"

Both SuSE and Red Hat have expressed annoyance at SCO for the time they've had to spend assuring their customers that SCO's claims have yet to be proven. In August, Red Hat filed a formal complaint against SCO in Delaware's U.S. District Court seeking "declaratory judgment" that Red Hat Linux does not infringe any copyright owned by SCO and seeking money for harm caused by SCO's public-relations campaign against Linux.

Geck says he sympathizes with Red Hat's position. "Users are afraid, just from the cost of possibly having to defend a lawsuit," he says.

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