Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 6th Jun 2006 16:57 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Novell and Ximian Ron Hovsepian explains how his outfit aims to regain investors' confidence and turn the tide against Linux leader Red Hat. "Our core Linux business grew 20% quarter-over-quarter. Why? Our strategy is different than Red Hat's. They are approaching this as an edge server play, and it's an enterprise play."
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by Kwitschibo on Tue 6th Jun 2006 17:14 UTC
Kwitschibo
Member since:
2006-01-17

"Our core Linux business grew 20% quarter-over-quarter. Why? Our strategy is different than Red Hat's."

Aha... and RedHat Linux Business grew 40% quarter to quarter... what will Ron Hovsepian say to us?

Reply Score: 2

Deeds not words
by Sphinx on Tue 6th Jun 2006 17:40 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Respect is something you have to earn.

Reply Score: 1

v Isn't Canonical the new Linux darling?
by stephanem on Tue 6th Jun 2006 17:51 UTC
cwdrake Member since:
2005-08-09

hmm... i just don't see Ubuntu catching on at the enterprise level like Novell and Red Hat.

Reply Score: 2

grat Member since:
2006-02-02

As soon as canonical delivers a solution that out of the box works for my desktops, and servers, and has integrated management tools...

Then perhaps, they may be competing with Novell.

Ubuntu, while a fairly impressive distribution, is not an "Enterprise" distribution.

Novell has made it fairly clear they're pursuing the enterprise, both server and desktop, and aren't so much interested in the latest flavor-of-the-month linux distro.

Reply Score: 5

yanik Member since:
2005-07-13

This is exactly what I was going to say grat.

Ubuntu is great as a desktop OS.

Reply Score: 1

stephanem Member since:
2006-01-11

Didn't Sun just sign up Canonical to port Ubuntu to Sparc?. That is a server / enterprize product.


Sorry but Ubuntu's desktop is a nightmare. When you install it no tools are installed. How do you compile software?. How do I compile missing drivers like Nvidia?

I much prefer Fedora or Open SuSe to ubuntu's desktop

Reply Score: 1

thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

You don't have to compile the nVidia drivers, they're pre-compiled on the CD.

With that said, in order to have a development environment installed all you have to do is install it. It also comes on the one CD.

Reply Score: 1

stephanem Member since:
2006-01-11

THey are out of date! I need the latest. And why the hell shouldn't I compile drivers????

Reply Score: 1

thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

You want to compile the drivers? Fine, just install the C compiler (again, from the One CD of software) and compile them. What a nightmare.

And by the way, Ubuntu 6.06 comes with the latest nVidia drivers.

Edited 2006-06-06 21:21

Reply Score: 1

g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

Specifically, you'll need to apt-get the build-essentials package (something any developer should be able to do without flinching a eye, hardly a nightmare). All of Debian's well documented admin infrsstructure goodness is still there for any developer or admin that wants to use it.

Personally, I don't see what a *user* desktop needs to have a compiler in it by default since users are not supposed to *require* the compilation of files. In fact, a good user desktop shouldn't *require* the command line for anything. If you have to resort to the command line or compiler, you're not building a user desktop -- you're building a developer desktop, which has it's place (and it's the key market RedHat and Novell specializes in), but it's not Ubuntu's primary focus.

Reply Score: 1

SEJeff Member since:
2005-11-05

Sorry but Ubuntu's desktop is a nightmare. When you install it no tools are installed. How do you compile software?. How do I compile missing drivers like Nvidia?
sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx build-essential
sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

^select nvidia instead of the open source nv video driver. CTRL-ALT-Backspace and you have a working nvidia 3d accelerated x.org with 0 compiling involved! build-essential installs all of your compiler toolchain also.

Reply Score: 3

g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

Canonical is in a different market. It's focused more on the low end business and school environment with a focus outside of places that have virtually no investment in MS technology. Novell and RedHat's focus is on the boring (and that's they way they like it) high end enterprise market that might have strong needs to interoperate with the MS world. There is an area where they overlap and their are places where they are learning from each other, but overall they aren't directly competing.

Reply Score: 2

contribution
by speirs on Tue 6th Jun 2006 19:00 UTC
speirs
Member since:
2006-06-04

former ximian folks and suse employees from novell give linux the following:
mono (so f-spot, banshee, diva exist)
apparmor, hula, ifolder, XGL, evolution

what did ubuntu do?

Reply Score: 2

RE: contribution
by Kwitschibo on Tue 6th Jun 2006 21:18 UTC in reply to "contribution"
Kwitschibo Member since:
2006-01-17

> what did ubuntu do?

Ubuntu give us an hype.

And Acceptance on Desktop User Base.

For Enterprise Use oder Development... Ubuntu do nothing.

They have stolen some Developers from the Debian Front.

OpenSource Leaders für Linux and Linux Growing are RedHat and Novell... still and for the next time.

Reply Score: 1

RE: contribution
by setuid_w00t on Tue 6th Jun 2006 22:52 UTC in reply to "contribution"
setuid_w00t Member since:
2005-10-22

claiming that ximiian gave us f-spot because they developed Mono is stupid. They may have helped to facilitate the development of f-spot, but it could have been written in C or C++ instead.

Would you give the gcc developers credit for Apache because gcc is often used to create Apache binaries?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: contribution
by jarredmt on Tue 6th Jun 2006 23:23 UTC in reply to "RE: contribution"
jarredmt Member since:
2006-06-06

maybe setuid_w00t because Novell employees are the main contributers for f-spot.

Novell has given the OSS community lots of great projects.

Reply Score: 1

v RE: Isn't Canonical the new Linux darling?
by collinm on Tue 6th Jun 2006 20:26 UTC
stephanem Member since:
2006-01-11

Hey dunce - tell me how many steps you need to take to get Nvidia's latest drivers installed on Ubuntu. I'll tell you it takes me 2 steps on SuSE or Fedora

1st step install the kernel source
2nd step run nvidia-install

Reply Score: 0

SEJeff Member since:
2005-11-05

sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx

It only takes 1 step and they are installed... not compiling necessary :-)

Reply Score: 1

DevL Member since:
2005-07-06

And now Binary Blobs ( http://www.openbsd.org/lyrics.html#39 ) is a feature?

Edited 2006-06-07 06:57

Reply Score: 0

Isn't this...
by orestes on Tue 6th Jun 2006 20:55 UTC
orestes
Member since:
2005-07-06

the same Ron Hovsepian who was criticising Sun for opening up Solaris not too long ago?

Reply Score: 1

enterprise play = executive theater
by butters on Wed 7th Jun 2006 03:33 UTC
butters
Member since:
2005-07-08

I like the way executives answer interview questions. They say some words, then imply that those words mean something good for the company. Here:

Q: In what way is your company doing well?

A: We're different than Red Hat. They only sell licenses and support contracts for the computers they want to run Red Hat. We try to get our customers to buy Novell SUSE Linux on all of their computers. That's going to be very successful.

Can you say, lock-in?

Q: How does Red Hat's acquisition of JBoss affect your business?

A: I think it'll have a positive impact on us, but that will be seen over time.

Q: ...how's that exactly?

A: What Red Hat did is attack IBM and Oracle directly at their strongest markets. On the other hand, we're just trying to get enterprise IT to move away from Windows on the desktop. Microsoft is leaving that market totally up for grabs, and we're going to capitalize on that.

Q: What about Oracle entering the Linux space?

A: The thing you have to remember about Oracle is that they're trying to fragment Linux. Repeat that to yourself a few times, and then try it out on your friends. We're the good guys, they're the bad guys. Got it?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: contribution
by kaiwai on Wed 7th Jun 2006 05:14 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

fspot, like Banshee, is nothing more than a 'proof of concept' to proove that you can write large applications using Mono - nothing wrong with that, but lets not forget, they're not gods gift to the opensource community, they give what want, and the take what they need.

As for "Novell's fight for respect', they'll get my respect when they start doing more than just 'provide tools' for developers; if they wish to get ISV's on board, they need to get off their ass, and out to the Adobes, Quickens, MYOB's and Corel's of the IT world, and start hammering out contracts - start getting them to port their software to their platform, and once ported, getting these companies to brand their software along the lines of 'optimised for Novell Desktop Linux'.

All the above requires some guts, hardwork and determination, something that all of Microsoft's rivals lack, they sit back, thinking that the IT will wake up one day and become illuminated to the glories of Linux, then skip down the merry road to GPL - the reality is, these companies aren't going to port until there is an incentive there for them to make their products available - either via a joint partnership to share the porting costs or by a market large enough to cover the costs of development, marketing and maintainance of a product.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: contribution
by segedunum on Wed 7th Jun 2006 12:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: contribution"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

fspot, like Banshee, is nothing more than a 'proof of concept' to proove that you can write large applications using Mono

I've watched this 'proving' of Mono, and the pointless rewriting of already working apps like iFolder and Zenworks with much interest and amusement. The situation is that they have (or had) already working software in Zenworks, iFolder, YaST etc. but various bits of functonality are now being rewritten in Mono for no apparent reason or benefit. It's just making Novell's position and problems even worse.

The problems have simply got exponentially bigger. Not only are they rewriting many existing and working apps with Mono, but those applications have to be developed, maintained, tested and debugged. On top of all of that, the underlying Mono framework and tools have to be maintained, tested and debugged as well, making things that much harder. Keep in mind that Novell is still the only large scale maintainer and contributor to Mono (basically, it's their project), apart from some interested companies who make some money from .Net and Java compatibility. No one else like IBM or Red Hat is even remotely interested in it. They continue to be focused on the Java world, where the money is in the Unix and Linux world. Anybody fancy maintaining a complete .Net framework, development stack and tools? Didn't think so.

As you can imagine, this will take a vast amount of time, money, effort, resources and developers to keep up. Novell are no Microsoft when it comes to having vast unlimited resources at its disposal. Keep in mind also that Mono is an open source project, and provides no direct revenue to fund itself in the way that Microsoft's .Net does from things like Visual Studio and there are no spin-offs either.

Essentially, what Novell are doing is undertaking a form of vertical integration of some open source and their own software within their own company. Note Hovsepian said they are focusing on building 'servers, desktops and all those pieces'. Needless to say, the overall method is a recipe for disaster, because it completely wipes out all of the advantages of using open source software and the community support around it. That's one of the reasons why Novell really needed to move to Linux. They simply didn't have the time, money or resources in the long run to maintain and push forward an in-house proprietary OS. Step forward the open source process and community, which helps people do things they wouldn't otherwise be able to do on their own.

I did have high hopes for Hovsepian, but more and more he's beginning to sound like Jack Messman Mark II. Small wonder all the decent people like Alan Nugent, Chris Stone and some Suse employees left.

Reply Score: 2

More like a fight for survival
by moleskine on Wed 7th Jun 2006 08:42 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

The irony is that no matter how many good things Novell do with Linux and SuSE, they are still viewed as a company on the slide and without an encouraging story to tell. It's all in the figures. For the last quarter they turned over around $274 million (less than hoped for) but of this only $10 million was from pure Linux. That leaves a "gap" of $264 million per quarter made up of declining legacy business and investors can't see how Novell is going to fill it before Mister Trouble arrives. Hovsepian talking about Linux is Hovsepian talking about 3.6 per cent of his company's turnover. Scary.

In addition, Red Hat seem to be running away with Linux at the moment. They are growing their Linux business much faster than Novell and it is pretty much becoming a case of "there is Red Hat and then, a vanishingly long way behind, there is everyone else."

For this reason I don't think there is any "guaranteed" second place in the race for Novell. Over the next 2-3 years, Novell could well find that Ubuntu's enterprise activities are starting to elbow them into third place or no place.

Reply Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The irony is that no matter how many good things Novell do with Linux and SuSE, they are still viewed as a company on the slide and without an encouraging story to tell. It's all in the figures. For the last quarter they turned over around $274 million (less than hoped for) but of this only $10 million was from pure Linux. That leaves a "gap" of $264 million per quarter made up of declining legacy business...

All true, yes. There is also another problem making it all even worse. In their move to Linux, and all their hype around it, they're neglecting their existing Netware customers. They say that they're not, but support means more than just keeping Netware running. For example, iFolder was rewritten in Mono and as a consquence it now doesn't run on Netware because Mono hasn't been ported. People who were using iFolder 2.1 and below and were really happy with it now can't use the latest version and then manage and 'upgrade' to Linux in their own time. There was simply no reason whatsoever to do this. There are also similar stories with Groupwise and eDirectory and differences between Netware and Linux versions. Keep in mind that these are not Linux customers or open source people, but people happily using Netware (they may not even have heard of Linux!) who contribute just about all of that $264 million of Novell's remaining revenue. Obviously not good.

Novell need to manage a proper migration of their customers from Netware to Linux, in a way that is 110% painless and where everything will work in the same way and preferable better, with more tools and better software than they've ever had. This means supporting their existing software like iFolder, eDirectory, Groupwise etc. equally on Netware and doing parallel development for Linux so that customers can gradually move across painlessly instead of moving to Red Hat or Windows instead - which is what too many are doing when they're faced with a decision to make.

And no Novell, supporting Netware does not mean running it in a Xen virtual machine on a Linux server. Really, what's the point of buying a new Novell Linux server just to run a Netware server in a VM? It's just silly. People need to know how they are going to move, preferably with a nice graphical wizard where they click next, next and finish and they can migrate all of their existing Netware installation to a Linux based on instantly. It's not up to customers to work out how to do this. It's Novell's problem.

Over the next 2-3 years, Novell could well find that Ubuntu's enterprise activities are starting to elbow them into third place or no place.

We're still a fair way from this happening, but if Ubuntu can provide an out-of-the-box complete distribution for free, with the option of purchasing support for people who want it, then they're on to a winner eventually. Novell's problem is that they have important legacy customers who they need to support and who they've taken for granted. Novell thought they would just come along for the new Linux ride.

Edited 2006-06-07 11:04

Reply Score: 2

IanSVT Member since:
2005-07-06

There are also similar stories with Groupwise and eDirectory and differences between Netware and Linux versions.

What differences? I wasn't aware they were different in any way. I've got my webaccess gateway and an MTA running on a linux box, talking just fine to the rest of my groupwise domains running on netware 5.1 servers. And eDirectory is eDirectory. It's available for linux, netware, and even windows. I didn't know they were different.

And to whoever brought up Ubuntu, it has got absolutely nothing on Novell at the enterprise level. Do they have anything like eDirectory, groupwise, zenworks, or identity manager? I don't think they do. Being able to setup a little Ubuntu based network at home != enterprise "solutions".

And vendor lock in was brought up earlier. If there's one company that doesn't have a vendor lock in issue, it's novell. Most of its server based software runs on windows, linux, or netware. You can run your client with windows or Linux.

Edited 2006-06-07 19:08

Reply Score: 1

RE: Contribution
by raxtor on Wed 7th Jun 2006 18:18 UTC
raxtor
Member since:
2006-03-20

I've watched this 'proving' of Mono, and the pointless rewriting of already working apps like iFolder and Zenworks with much interest and amusement.

I seldom agree with Segedunum, but it appears that some backtracking is taking place. The iFolder client is being rewritten in C/C++. See here:
http://ifolder.blogspot.com/2006/06/update-on-35-client.html for more info.

Reply Score: 1