Chairman and CEO, Novell Inc.

Novell Inc. is opening code from NetMail as part of a project to create an open source collaboration server, company Chairman and CEO Jack Messman said Tuesday during a keynote at the LinuxWorld trade show. Novell also plans to expand its presence in the data center and release more Linux products for companies with a goal to “harden” the open source operating system for corporate use.

“CIOs want to simplify and streamline IT,” Messman said. Linux, he said in the keynote, helps them to do that. Linux is secure, scalable and easy to deploy, maintain and support, he said, emphasizing that customers want and need choice in operating systems and applications. CIOs want to simplify and streamline ITJack Messman>Text

At a press conference following his talk, Messman, other Novell executives and partners of the company offered more information on the announcements he mentioned in the speech.

Those include:

— The open source collaboration server project, code-named Hula, which will involve Novell offering about 200,000 lines of NetMail code on an open-source basis. The project is meant to draw in members of the open source community, with about 25 Novell employees dedicated to Hula. The server that emerges from Hula will provide users with calendar and e-mail functions, filling a “major void” in current open source offerings, Novell said. The goal is for Hula “to become for collaboration what Apache is to servers,” Messman said in his keynote. The code Novell will make available is Internet-based, so “we thought that was a good starting point and that we ought to contribute that to jump-start this project,” Messman said.

— A plan to expand Novell’s presence in the data center with new products that augment the company’s portfolio of workstation, workgroup and high-performance wares. That project will involve the common code base from Suse Linux Enterprise Server and will focus on application infrastructure, storage software, virtualization, systems management and security. Specific products will be announced in those areas in coming months, Novell executives said. Novell is “excited” about its data center strategy, Messman said.

— Novell’s dual-kernel Linux and NetWare Open Enterprise server will begin shipping next month, Messman said. The server is a core component of Novell’s strategy to make Linux available for crucial corporate IT operations. It will provide file, print, management, collaboration and application services. Pricing is the same as current NetWare pricing. Details are available at this site.

— Long-term plans for GroupWise, the company’s flagship collaboration product, with three releases planned for the next four years. The road map shows Novell’s commitment to GroupWise, Messman said at the press conference. The next GroupWise release, code-named Sequoia, is expected in the second or third quarter of this year, with releases code-named Aspen and Cedar due out in 2006 and 2008, respectively.

— Novell has contributed parts of its eDirectory identity management infrastructure to the FreeRadius and Samba open source projects, Messman said. That announcement was made at both LinuxWorld in Boston and at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, also under way this week.

— The company’s Security Manager network security product is available, starting at US$315 for a single server plus 10 devices license. That announcement also was made at both trade shows.

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