IBM Cozies Up to SUSE-based Software Appliances

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 21, 2010

Last summer, Novell announced its SUSE Appliance Program, which includes SUSE Studio Online. At the time Novell positioned the offering as an "end-to-end appliance solution that enables ISVs to rapidly build, update, configure and go to market with fully supported software and virtual appliances." Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Ingres and others voiced support for the program at the time, and now IBM is delivering an array of sotware appliances that run SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

According to Joe Wagner, senior vice president and general manager of Global Alliances at Novell, in a statement:

"The software industry is adopting software appliances as an easier way to package and distribute software. In fact, IDC forecasts the software appliance market to grow to $1.18 billion by 2012. Having an industry leader such as IBM adopt software appliances is another indicator of the strength of this market. Add to this IBM partners like Black Diamond Software, who provide complete IBM middleware development stacks to enterprises as software appliances, and our other recent software appliance initiatives with several ISVs including GroundWork Open Source, Ingres and Zmanda, and it is clear this market is growing."

IBM has created appliances based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in the following areas:

1) IBM Lotus Foundations – A technology and collaboration solution for small and medium-sized businesses. Using software appliances provides faster access and adoption of solutions, from accounting packages to a local network infrastructure.

2) IBM Lotus Protector for Mail Security – Protects IBM Lotus Domino and mixed email infrastructure from spam, viruses and other threats originating on the Internet. Using software appliances means protection can be installed and running in a matter of hours.

3) IBM WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition– Offers all of the features of the WebSphere Application Server Family for virtual environments. By configuring and packaging as an appliance with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, customers can activate an optimized instance of WebSphere quickly.

4) IBM Cognos Now! – Delivers operational dashboards for real-time monitoring of key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics across disparate data sources.

5) IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer – Enables a new class of high-speed business intelligence and analytic queries.

Since they are based on an open source platform, IBM's software appliances may gain momentum because they are customizable. And on the Novell front, it looks to have a committed partner in IBM, which could help it compete more effectively on the Linux front with Red Hat.