Novell aims to support mission-critical cloud stacks

Novell’s SUSE Appliance Programme launches this afternoon; buoyant on the promise of giving ISVs the ability to create fully supported software and virtual appliances. So what you say right?

Novell’s SUSE Appliance Programme launches this afternoon; buoyant on the promise of giving ISVs the ability to create fully supported software and virtual appliances. So what you say right? Well, it’s a platform for creating a virtualised OS with a complete software stack on top. You still say, so what?

Note: To clarify, Novell defines an ‘appliance’ as, “A pre-configured combination of an application, middleware and operating system integrated into a single image and tailored to run on industry-standard hardware.”

There are plenty of cloud application framework vendors out there already after all. From dot com style start ups to enterprise scale managed hosting, we have been hearing about this technology for some time now. Ah, but Novell says it can provide a fully supported mission-critical environment too – and it may be this support that sets the offering apart, for a while at least.

The SUSE Appliance Programme incorporates SUSE Studio Online as its web-based appliance building tool, SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS (Just Enough Operating System) and full support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 deployed on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. The company says it is also now offering a technical preview of the SUSE Appliance Toolkit with its update, access and configuration management functions.

This news sets something of a trend for the commercial Linux distributor, who seems to have been trying to make a mark on the cloud computing space with a string of messages centred on stability, support and security. Novell is expected to use its time at the Burton Group Catalyst Conference in San Diego today to talk about the need to for companies to meet security and compliance standards when implementing cloud computing and virtualised environments.

“Software appliances are the next evolutionary step for software packaging, allowing hardware to be decoupled from the software, and creating more flexibility for deployment and management,” said Al Gillen, Program vice president, System Software at IDC.

If you believe that the data centre is currently undergoing an evolution then you may wish to dig deeper into this subject. Proponents of this type of tech say that the data centre is about to become more service driven. Arguments for cloud computing do back this up. What do we need next? More stability from the cloud of course – so perhaps this is edging things in the right direction.

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