Novell and SUSE Linux go their separate ways

18 May 2011

Novell and SUSE Linux are to pursue their own destinies, each with their own management teams following the US$2.2bn acquisition of Novell by Attachmate.

Software firm Novell, which employs over 150 people in Dublin and at its height was a major competitor to Microsoft, is to split in two, with the main Novell business returning to its home turf of Utah under the leadership of Bob Flynn, while SUSE Linux will operate as its own entity under the leadership of Nils Brauckman.

According to Novell the new business unit will have a clear focus on the widely adopted core Novell solutions in the collaboration and endpoint management markets.

“Business and technology landscapes are in a state of constant flux; growth of social networking, mobile computing, desktop virtualisation, and the ongoing migrations to Windows 7 are all examples of trends that are impacting our customers,” Flynn noted.

“Novell’s portfolio strategy and development plans remain and I am excited to help our customers successfully manage these new technologies. Together with my team of skilled managers, we are embarking on a journey to continue to build on the strengths of the Novell brand.”

SUSE Linux

Nils Brauckmann, a 20-year industry veteran with both Attachmate and Novell heritage, will lead the SUSE organisation. According to IDC, projections continue to show Linux operating system revenue exceeding US$1 billion in 2012 and continuing to grow to US$1.4 billion in 2014 — important milestones for the Linux market.

“By operating SUSE as a separate business unit focused on the Linux marketplace, we can accelerate our delivery of high-value Linux solutions that help organisations enhance growth, reduce costs, tame complexity and spur innovation,” Brauckmann, president and general manager of SUSE, explained.

“We have the world-class engineering resources, partners, and state-of-the-art technologies to succeed. Now we are sharpening our focus on making SUSE Linux Enterprise the preeminent Linux distribution across physical, virtual and cloud environments.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years