Novell announces workload management strategy and roadmap

Novell attempts to wrap itself in virtualization, management, security and cloud computing flags.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor on

Novell is announcing a strategy and product road map for addressing a need it sees for "Intelligent Workload Management". It clearly hopes that putting its products together in new ways and invoking today's catch phrases and buzz words will appear fresh and new.

Snippets from Novell's message

Novell today announced its strategy and product roadmap for addressing the emerging market for Intelligent Workload Management (IWM) solutions. Novell's differentiated approach to  Intelligent Workload Management integrates identity and systems management capabilities into an application workload, thereby increasing the workload's security and portability across physical, virtual and cloud environments. As a result, enterprises are able to significantly reduce the risks and challenges of computing across multiple environments while granting their users secure and compliant access to the full computing services they need.

The market for Intelligent Workload Management
New technologies like virtualization and cloud computing have changed the IT landscape by freeing applications from hardware in the traditional data center. While the lower cost and increased flexibility of these new solutions are compelling, security and compliance concerns are significant barriers to their enterprise-wide adoption.  Security and compliance requirements have also increased as regulators more tightly monitor company operations and as data becomes increasingly distributed across multiple locations. As a result, traditional approaches to IT service managment are no longer sufficient in addressing the needs of the modern IT enterprise.

Intelligent Workload Management is a new and more effective model of computing that enables IT organizations to manage and optimize computing resources in a policy-driven, secure and compliant manner across physical, virtual and cloud environments to deliver business services for end customers.  A workload is a portable, self-contained unit of work built through the integration of the operating system, middleware and application.  With Intelligent Workload Management, organizations can build, secure, manage and measure workloads.


Over the next 12 months, Novell will introduce eight new products that further extend the solutions the company already has for the Intelligent Workload Management market. Among these new products are a toolkit to help ISVs create and deploy appliances with integrated management and security and a new self-service provisioning tool that enables enterprises to build and manage public and private clouds. Also planned is a major upgrade to Novell's identity management suite to help enterprise customers manage and provision identities inside and outside their four walls.

Core to Novell's Intelligent Workload Management approach will be the unique integration of its market-leading identity and security technologies into products that address customer challenges across the entire IWM lifecycle. Because Novell's approach is modular, customers can start with any product at any point in the lifecycle and be confident that they are moving down the path to Intelligent Workload Management.

In addition to Novell's current portfolio of products that address the Intelligent Workload Management market, the company plans to introduce products in each of the following four categories:

To help enterprises and ISVs build intelligent workloads, Novell will add products and capabilities to its successful SUSE Appliance Program. SUSE Studio, a Web-based product released earlier this year, builds complete software appliances in a matter of minutes. SUSE Studio is the leader in the software appliance market, with more than 100,000 built appliances and more than 40,000 registered users worldwide. The focus of future enhancements to SUSE Studio include enabling developers to integrate identity and policy into the workload to make it intelligent. In 2010, Novell plans to introduce the following products to help customers build intelligent workloads:/p>

  • SUSE Appliance Toolkit - a new suite of tools that will dramatically improve the efficiency of deploying and maintaining Linux-based appliances in physical and virtual environments, including update, access and configuration management capabilities.
  • Novell “Workshop” – a new tool to build intelligent workloads with embedded manageability, security and compliance for both Linux and Windows-based applications, including one-stop configuration, manipulation and modification of virtual machine images.

To help customers address their identity and security needs, Novell offers a portfolio of solutions today, including Novell Identity Manager, the Novell Compliance Management Platform and Novell Sentinel. In the future, Novell will add capabilities to these products that bring identity and policy awareness into workloads. These new capabilities will allow workloads to be managed and moved with appropriate security, whether inside the data center or out in the public cloud. Novell plans to ship the following products to help customers secure their intelligent workloads:

  • Novell Identity Manager 4 – a significant update to Novell's flagship identity management product that helps customers manage identity inside and outside their enterprise with real-time provisioning, reporting and industry-leading roles management.
  • Novell Cloud Security Service (announced earlier this year, targeted to ship in 2010) – a new tool that will enable enterprises to impose their individual identity and security protocols on software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) vendors.

To help customers manage and move workloads within and across their physical and virtual environments, Novell today offers PlateSpin Workload Management solutions and Business Service Management solutions. In 2010, Novell plans to introduce new products that integrate and extend these management capabilities to the cloud to ensure optimal execution of workloads both on- and off-site. These product developments include:

  • PlateSpin “Atlantic” – a self-service provisioning portal that enables line of business managers to provision applications based on business need, while allowing IT to automatically optimize deployment using a combination of physical, virtual and cloud computing resources.
  • PlateSpin “Bluestar”  – a new physical server change and configuration management & monitoring system.
  • ZENworks “Workbench” – a master repository and change/control system for workloads, from which they can be deployed on-demand to any environment.

To help customers measure and gain real-time insight into their IT operations, Novell offers a suite of products including Novell Business Service Manager, Novell Business Experience Manager, Novell myCMDB, Novell Sentinel, and Novell Sentinel Log Manager. Moving forward, Novell will extend these products to manage cloud environments to ensure service level reporting of workloads across physical, virtual and cloud environments.  Novell plans to release a new offering in 2010 to help customers implement Compliant IT Service Management (CITSM):

  • Novell Compliance Automation – this new offering integrates the Sentinel security information and event management products with Novell Business Service Manager to deliver identity-aware, real-time monitoring of events happening throughout the IT infrastructure.

Snapshot analysis

It's clear that the good folks at Novell knew they needed to make some noise to get onto or back onto IT decision makers' radar screen. This announcement appears to be a mix of today's offerings combined with some new things from Novell's PlateSpin wizards.

It appears that the company is hoping to ride the rapidly moving markets for virtualization technology, management of virtualized environments, security for virtualized environments and the emerging market for tools that can help organizations deploy cloud computing into greater levels of recognition Unfortunately, Novell doesn't move as rapidly as does this collection of markets.

Novell has long had a very powerful set of tools and technology in the areas of identity management, client and server provisioning, management of both physical and virtual environments and, of course, operating systems. It hasn't been able, on the other hand, to capture the same levels of mind share as Microsoft, VMware, Citrix and others who compete in similar markets.

Do you think that an announcement that links together its current technology portfolio in new ways using today's catch phrases and buzz words will put Novell on the top of the list in your organization?

I'm traveling this week and may not be able to post as often as normal.

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