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BrainShare Thinks Linux

Novell this week will detail its strategy to essentially clone NetWare into a Linux-based platform when the company hosts its annual BrainShare developer conference in Salt Lake City.

The availability of a 2.0 upgrade of the iFolder component of Novell's Nterprise Linux Services, the coming arrival,and possible beta availability,of NetWare 7 on both a SUSE Linux and a classic NetWare kernel, and the merger of the two NetWare flavors within the channel prior to the formal 2005 launch date for NetWare 7 are expected to be announced at the conference, said industry sources.

On the momentum of Novell's release last week of its SUSE Linux 9.1 Personal and Professional versions with the Linux 2.6 kernel, the Waltham, Mass.-based company will also herald the features of its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and PC products planned for this spring. Other technologies expected to be outlined at the conference include SUSE Linux-based PC management and security tools for NetWare, Web service offerings, server provisioning technology, and even a degree of storage management, sources close to the company said.

Novell also plans a SUSE Linux-based NetWare 7 with an identical feature set, the sources said. The arrival of such a platform would be the culmination of Novell's recent acquisitions of SUSE, Linux-based workstation and server technology vendor Ximian, and Web services application development company Silver Stream.

Novell admittedly sees more staying power in Linux, a Novell source said, hinting that classic NetWare's days might actually be numbered.

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