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Novell To Offer SuSE On Dell Servers

Novell plans to make its SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 software available direct from Dell on factory-loaded Dell servers.

The companies said Wednesday that beginning in 2005, customers buying Dell's PowerEdge 1850, 2800 and 2850 servers will be able to have SuSE Linux Server 9 software loaded and shipped along with the hardware for an annual maintenance subscription of $175 per single-CPU server, said Linda York, vice president of global alliances marketing for the product group at Dell, Round Rock, Texas. Software subscriptions for dual-CPU servers of the same Dell models cost $269, York added.

Ron Hovsepian, president of Waltham, Mass.-based Novell North America, said the new relationship with Dell won't undermine the bottom line of Novell solution providers, even though the SuSE software will be available direct to customers.

"We want to set an environment that creates channel harmony," Hovsepian said. "That part has been taken into consideration with the go-to-market strategy. More of our solution partners are in services-based businesses, and we believe that [this deal] will create more services opportunities out in the market."

Staying true to its adversity to inventory, Dell won't preinstall the Novell SuSE software, since only 1 percent of Dell customers buy hardware with preloaded software, York said. Instead, the vendor will install the software at the plant when customers order it with the servers, she said. York didn't give a timetable for the possible availability of SuSE on Dell four-way servers.

Dell also sells Red Hat Linux software, but York said there would be no change in that relationship in light of the Novell SuSE deal.

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