LinuxWorld: Novell details open-source project, wares

NetMail code will be used to create an open-source collaboration server

Novell Inc. is opening code from NetMail as part of a project to create an open-source collaboration server, company Chairman and CEO Jack Messman said today during a keynote speech at the LinuxWorld trade show. Novell also plans to expand its presence in the data center and release more Linux products for companies with a goal to "harden" the open-source operating system for corporate use.

"CIOs want to simplify and streamline IT," and Linux helps them to do that, Messman said. Linux is secure, scalable and easy to deploy, maintain and support, he said, emphasizing that customers want and need choice in operating systems and applications.

At a news conference after his talk, Messman, other executives and partners of the Waltham, Mass.-based company discussed Novell's plans in more detail. They said the open-source collaboration server project, code-named Hula, will involve Novell offering about 200,000 lines of NetMail code on an open-source basis. Hula is meant to draw in members of the open-source community, with about 25 Novell employees dedicated to it. The server that emerges from the project will provide users with calendar and e-mail functions, filling a "major void" in current open-source offerings, Novell said.

The goal is for Hula "to become for collaboration what Apache is to servers," Messman said in his keynote.

The code Novell will make available is Internet-based. "We thought that was a good starting point and that we ought to contribute that to jump-start this project," Messman said.

Novell also plans to expand its presence in the data center, with new products that augment the company's portfolio of workstation, workgroup and high-performance wares. That project will involve the common code base from SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and will focus on application infrastructure, storage software, virtualization, systems management and security.

Specific products will be announced in those areas in coming months, and the company is "excited" about its data center strategy, Messman said.

In other Novell news:

  • The company's dual-kernel Linux and NetWare Open Enterprise server will begin shipping next month, Messman said. The server is a core component of Novell's strategy to make Linux available for crucial corporate IT operations. It will provide file, print, management, collaboration and application services. Pricing is the same as current NetWare pricing, and details are available online.
  • Long-term plans for GroupWise, the company's flagship collaboration product, call for three releases during the next four years. The road map shows Novell's commitment to GroupWise, Messman said. The next GroupWise release, code-named Sequoia, is expected in the second or third quarter of this year, with releases code-named Aspen and Cedar due out in 2006 and 2008, respectively.
  • The company has contributed parts of its eDirectory identity management infrastructure to the FreeRadius and Samba open-source projects, Messman said. That announcement was made at both LinuxWorld in Boston and at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, which is also under way this week.
  • The company's Security Manager network security product is now available, starting at $315 for a single server plus a license for 10 devices. That announcement also was made at both trade shows.

LinuxWorld continues through Thursday at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon