It was a rainy morning here in New England, but lucky for me I got to spend it inside Novell’s Waltham, Mass.-based HQ learning about SUSE Enterprise Linux 10. In addition to providing me with yet another copy of a Linux distro (I have Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Desktop and Server 10, and and really old DVD of Fedora Core lying around here somewhere), Novell execs provided the audience of 100 or so with insight as to where the company is headed with Microsoft, virtualization and the data center.
When he wasn’t cracking jokes at Red Hat’s expense, Ross Brunson, a Novell senior solutions specialist, was one of the few individuals I’ve seen speak who can made a 3-hour slide deck presentation fly by (maybe it was because the slides were prepared using OpenOffice, who knows). He was a prepared presenter who I imagine has done this Linux Day thing more times than he cares to remember.
But before Brunson took the podium, Novell’s “Microsoft executive for Novell” Paul Brown started things off with a short Q&A that quickly turned into a lesson on GPLv3 and how it would NOT affect Novell’s future business. I think Brown said the phrase “the GPLv3 is not ratified yet” in one form or another at least five times — and that was during the answer to one question!
Another audience member followed up with a question about Novell’s future business with Redmond.
“This is not an agreement that damages out relationship with the open source community,” Brown said. “And we have not entered into an agreement that reduces in any way our customers ability to interact with that community.”
With all of the bracketing and discussion going on with the GPLv3 discussion draft right now, I can now understand why Novell seemed supremely confident this morning. IP attorney Jeff Seul of Holland+Knight basically took the GPL draft out into the woodshed and beat it senseless when I spoke to him about it last week.
The conspiracy talk about GPLv3 and Microsoft quickly turned into what the audience really came to hear about however, as Brunson took back the podium and projector pointer and delved deep into some of the interoperability plans Novell and Microsoft had hammered out since the inception of their partnership in November.
The big plans, as our sister site SearchServerVirtualization.com pointed out in the past, involved virtualization. Today, Brunson said the two companies were working on a “translation layer” between the Xen hypervisor (used by Novell) and the Windows Longhorn technology due out from Microsoft sometime in the distant future.
There was tons more to digest from the morning briefing, including some raspberry yogurt and pastries, so keep an eye out for future SearchEnterpriseLinux.com articles that will borrow generously from what was said in Waltham today. Like the fact that no one was supposed to know the SUSE Service Pack 1 is due out in May. Shh!
And on that note, I open things up for you guys. Any thoughts on Novell these days?