Novell CEO: Virtualization, Cloud Require Intelligent Workload Management
At the BrainShare conference today, Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian addressed the elephant in the room — Elliott Associates’ unsolicited $2 billion takeover bid for Novell. Then, Hovsepian and Chief Marketing Officer/Channel Chief John Dragoon put the spotlight on Novell’s broader strategy — Intelligent Workload Management (IWM) to enable cloud and virtualized applications — and a new partnership with VerizonBusiness. Here are the top 12 highlights from the keynote.
1. What’s On Your Mind?: Hovsepian conceded that there’s an elephant in the room … Elliott Associates’ unsolicited $2 billion takeover bid, which Novell rejected on March 20. Hovsepian reassured attendees that it’s business as usual at Novell, while the company’s board considers a range of options to increase shareholder value.
2. Can’t Do It Alone: Partners now drive over 75 percent of Novell’s Business, said Hovsepian.
3. More Than SUSE Linux: During the 45-minute keynote from Hovsepian and Dragoon, SUSE Linux received some key mentions but it wasn’t the central thrust of the morning. Smart move, considering Novell has to promote itself as far more than a Linux provider. Much of the morning briefing focused on Novell’s Intelligent Workload Management (IWM).
4. Virtualization and the Cloud: That’s only half of the equation, asserted Hovsepian. He said identity management (related to security) is the other half of the equation. And Novell’s Intelligent Workload Management (IWM) strategy is the next natural step beyond virtualization and cloud computing, Hovsepian added.
5. Getting More Social — With Pulse: Novell wants to support tools that are social like FaceBook and as fast as Twitter. The tools need to provide anywhere/anytime access to critical information, with the ability to create and share information more freely. To get into the social media market, Novell needs to allow individuals to store information securely, share information securely, and follow individuals, topics and people across multiple devices, according to Hovsepian.
Translation: Hovsepian was setting the stage for Pulse, a social media platform that’s been getting some buzz lately. Each BrainShare attendee will receive a preview account and five invitations to bring buddies onto the system.
6. Cloud Is Just Getting Started: Only 2 percent of workloads are in the cloud, and only 16 percent are virtualized. Those figures will rise to 20% and 45% by 2015, according to IDC. For those trends to occur, CIOs will want their security concerns addressed, asserted Hovsepian. No coincidence, Novell is pitching identity and security management for that need.
But there’s a bigger story here, focused on Novell’s Intelligent Workload Management (IWM) effort. IWM has four components:
- Build: This requires a customized operating system… surely a nod toward SUSE Linux and the software appliance strategy.
- Secure: This requires security and compliance management, a nod toward Novell’s Identity and Access Management offerings — and Novell Identity Manager 4. Separately, Novell Cloud Security Service enforces security settings with a SaaS or cloud provider. And Novell Cloud Manager provides automated workload provisioning to public and private clouds. Watch for a close working relationship with Verizon Business in the cloud.
- Manage: This requires resource management
- Measure: Service Management
The VAR Guy will ask Hovsepian for more details on those final two bullets later today.
7. Who’s Here?: After canceling the 2009 BrainShare because of the poor economy, Dragoon was quick to note that BrainShare 2010 has a critical mass of attendees. More than 2,500 partners, customers and guests are attending BrainShare. And more than 500 attendees are first-time attendees. Also, there are roughly 45 sponsors and exhibitors are on hand. After a five year absence, Dragoon added, BrainShare EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) returns in EMEA this May 2010.
8. Back to Novell’s Roots: BrainShare is a technical conference for technical people, according to Dragoon. Most of the content here reflects that assertion.
9. Three Legs to Novell’s Strategy: Enterprise Linux Servers, Identity and Access Management, Virtualization and Workload management will dominate many of the technical sessions at the event.
10. Key New Developments: Dragoon pointed to eight emerging developments from Novell for partners and customers to check out … including SUSE Studio, Novell Identity Manager 4, Novell Cloud Manager, and Novell Pulse.
11. Free Stuff: SUSE Linux on the desktop received some free publicity. Watch for more details later today involving the MSI Netbook/MeeGo and the HP Mini 5101 with SUSE Linux Enterprise 11.
12. Happy Anniversary: IBM is celebrating 10 years of Linux on the mainframe, and Dragoon was quick to note SUSE Linux has been working with IBM in the mainframe from the very start.
What’s the bottom line? Lots of information here at BrainShare for partners to digest. The VAR Guy will be speaking directly with Hovsepian and Dragoon later today for more color commentary.