The next version of Novell Inc’s Open Enterprise Server Linux/NetWare package will only include NetWare as a virtualized operating system, signaling the end of shipment for the operating system, despite Novell’s commitment to support it to 2015 and beyond.
The next version of OES, codenamed Cypress and due for release in the first half of 2007, was announced at Novell’s BrainShare event in Salt Lake City on Monday, where the company’s CEO, Jack Messman, also stated that the company would support NetWare indefinitely.
Such a commitment is possible thanks to the inclusion of XenSource Inc’s Xen 3.0 virtualization hypervisor in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, but what Novell was not saying, at least not at first, is how quickly that virtualization technology would be enabling NetWare to run as part of OES.
Troy Wilder, product manager for OES at Waltham, Massachusetts-based Novell confirmed that NetWare will be virtualized only in the Cypress timeframe as OES essentially becomes an add-on to the core functionality found in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
While the company will support NetWare 6.5 directly until 2015, further support will only be delivered to NetWare delivered via virtual environments, and OES itself will from the Cypress release not include a full NetWare kernel.
OES first shipped just over a year ago and included NetWare 6.5 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.0, as well as common communication, collaboration, and application services, and a common management interface, giving users a choice of file, print, directory and management technologies, and NetWare customers a migration path to Linux.
Despite Novell’s vocal commitment to supporting those customers that migration path is now getting narrower, and Messman also encouraged users to make the move to NetWare 6.5 as quickly as possible to stay on the path.
If you want to stay on NetWare, I would encourage you to update to 6.5 as soon as possible if you haven’t already done so, he said.
As well as an add-on to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, OES is also becoming a core component of Novell’s Open Workgroup Suite, which is to become the core brand via which the company’s GroupWise collaboration server, ZENworks systems management suite, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and the OpenOffice.org productivity suite will be taken to market.