Novell Inc has released a new version of its ZENworks management software for Linux as it moves towards a common management interface for Linux, Windows, Unix and NetWare.
The Waltham, Massachusetts-based software vendor hopes to do for Linux management what Microsoft Corp has done for the management of Windows systems, and believes it has an advantage over Microsoft in that its management suite can handle the management of multiple operating systems.
ZENworks 6.6 Linux Management is now available and includes tighter integration with the YaST set up tool Novell acquired along with SuSE Linux as well as SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, according to Alan Murray, Novell director of product management for resource management.
As well as Novell’s own SuSE variant of Linux, ZENworks Linux Management also offers support for Red Hat Inc’s Enterprise Linux, providing control over software update scheduling, package dependency analysis, and conflict resolution for software installations.
The product is part of the larger ZENworks suite that provides cross-platform management functionality. At the moment that means from more than one management interface, although a common management interface across all platforms is in the company’s two-year road map.
The next major release of ZENworks, known as Birdman and scheduled for release in 2005, will feature a decoupling of the policy engine from the various management modules, according to Murray, with a common user interface. He said a complete transition to a single management interface will be completed by 2006.
The company could bring a common management interface to its ZENworks products sooner, Murray said, but wants to get the underlying technology right before making the change. These two worlds are converging, but they haven’t converged yet, he said.