SuSE, Ximian forge Linux pact

Hoping to lower the costs associated with deploying Linux in the enterprise, SuSE Linux AG on Monday announced a partnership deal with Ximian Inc. that will see SuSE selling Ximian’s integration and management product.

Under the terms of the deal, SuSE will resell Ximian’s Red Carpet Enterprise, a product designed to let corporate users centrally deploy and manage software both on servers and desktop systems. SuSE will also sell the Ximian Connector that helps integrate Ximian’s Evolution groupware suite with the SuSE Linux Openexchange server.

Officials from both companies said the agreement allows them to pursue opportunities to collaborate on future Linux desktop products that would use Ximian’s desktop technologies. Officials from both companies declined to outline what those opportunities might be.

Ximian’s Red Carpet Enterprise lets administrators automatically control and update software standards on groups of systems running SuSE Linux, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server, and SuSE Linux Office Desktop. Users of SuSE Linux Openexchange Server can install Ximian’s Connector to deploy a more complete Linux-based client and server solution, a solution that officials from both companies claim would be significantly less expensive than the competitive offerings of Microsoft and Lotus.

“With Ximian’s Evolution and Connector products, I think our customers can find a richer client experience that they need to deploy an all-Linux collaboration solution that is centred around our Openexchange server,” said Rafael Laguna, vice-president of marketing for SuSE Linux.

SuSE will begin to offer its users Red Carpet Enterprise sometime this spring as part of its SuSE Linux Enterprise Deployment and Administration Option pack. And this summer, SuSe will begin shipping the Ximian Evolution and Connector products bundled with its Openexchange Server. Openexchange is priced at US$1,250 for unlimited e-mail accounts and includes 10 calendar and collaboration accounts. Additional collaboration accounts begin at US$50 per user.