Novell Announces Industry’s First Solution for Creating and Deploying Fully Supported Software Appliances

July 28, 2009

SUSE Appliance Program enables ISVs to shorten their sales cycle and extend applications to the cloud


Novell today announced a comprehensive program and group of technologies that for the first time enable Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to rapidly build, update, configure and go to market with fully supported software and virtual appliances. The SUSE® Appliance Program is the only offering that enables ISVs to customize a fully supported, mission-critical operating system and then build and test a complete software stack, making Novell the only vendor to provide a complete, end-to-end appliance solution for ISVs. Built on top of the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform, the SUSE Appliance Program will transform the way ISVs package and distribute their software offerings, enabling them to quickly deliver existing applications to physical, virtual and cloud computing environments, reduce sales cycles and pursue new market opportunities.

Available today as part of the SUSE Appliance Program are SUSE Studio Online (an innovative web-based appliance building tool), SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS (Just Enough Operating System), full support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 deployed on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), and comprehensive marketing support for ISVs. Novell is also offering a technical preview of the SUSE Appliance Toolkit, a suite of tools that includes update, access and configuration management capabilities. Novell also announced today widespread support for the SUSE Appliance Program from leading ISVs including Adaris Technologies, Adobe, BitRock, Codice Software, Four J's Development Tools, HP, IBM, Infobright, Ingres, Messaging Architects, Packet General, Quest Software, SAP, Sonoa Systems, VMware and Zmanda. See press release at

"Software appliances can help simplify IT for small and medium businesses, helping them to focus on their customers while saving money," said Bob Sutor, vice president Open Source and Linux at IBM Software. "We think easy to use and deploy software appliances such as Lotus Foundations built on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and IBM software present compelling sales opportunities for our business partners. We’re excited to explore extending our work with Novell in the appliance space."

Changing the Software Delivery Model
Deploying enterprise software today is time consuming and resource intensive for both the customer and the ISV. The emergence of cloud computing and various "as-a-service" models are a response to this complexity and provide a more flexible, on-demand experience for customers. However, these new approaches make it more challenging for ISVs to quickly configure and deliver a tailored, ready-to-use installation of their applications. One solution is a software appliance, a pre-configured combination of an application, middleware and operating system integrated into a single image and tailored to run on industry-standard hardware.

"Software appliances are the next evolutionary step for software packaging, allowing hardware to be decoupled from the software, and creating more flexibility for deployment and management," said Al Gillen, Program vice president, System Software at IDC. "Businesses are looking for simplified ways to deploy their applications, and this emerging form factor can not only directly leverage the increasingly virtualized infrastructure that customers have today in their data centers, it is capable of deployment to cloud computing environments, too. We believe that software appliances will also help reduce support costs and sales cycle times for ISVs, making the concept attractive for vendors and end users alike."

By revolutionizing the way software is packaged and delivered, the SUSE Appliance Program enables ISVs to deploy their applications on a wide variety of platforms, including physical, virtual and cloud computing environments, eliminating the headaches that come with traditional software installation. As a result, ISVs can offer their customers faster time to value and smaller up front investment, while also delivering a turnkey, flexible solution that works across multiple platforms and architectures.

The data center is currently undergoing an evolution to become more service-driven, as data center managers require new tools to deliver the business services users need while maintaining a flexible, automated and cost-effective IT infrastructure. Customers need workload portability – the ability to move a whole workload (the software combination of operating system, application and data) around their data center based on business needs, independent from the underlying physical or virtual platforms. To meet these changing customer needs, ISVs need tools that can transform their application into a software appliance – or workload – so that their customers can respond to changing business demands by migrating workloads quickly and seamlessly, while improving capacity management and asset utilization.

Everything an ISV Needs to Build and Distribute Appliances
The SUSE Appliance Program includes all the technology and support ISVs need to build and distribute software and virtual appliances. Based on the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform, the SUSE Appliance Program includes:

  • SUSE Studio Online, a free, web-based tool that builds complete software appliances in a matter of minutes. SUSE Studio Online uniquely allows for mass customization of the operating system – letting each ISV build a unique configuration of the operating system – and have it fully supported by Novell.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS, an updated, minimum bootable, fully supported and pre-formatted configuration of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server that provides a starting point for manually creating appliances based on installations of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. As a fully supported configuration of SUSE Linux Enterprise, SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS enables ISVs to deliver the certification, performance, scalability and supportability differentiations of SUSE Linux Enterprise to their customers.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Amazon EC2, a configuration of SUSE Linux Enterprise designed to operate in Amazon EC2.
  • Extensive go-to-market support for ISVs, including distribution channel, joint marketing, pricing and redistribution agreements that reduce the time to get an evaluation or production appliance ready for the market. Marketing elements include the Novell ISV PartnerNet® Program, free evaluation redistribution of appliances and proven and flexible pricing models.
  • A technical preview of the SUSE Appliance Toolkit, which will be available later this year. Tools available for preview today are the SUSE Lifecycle Management Server, which handles authentication and access control for appliance vendors to distribute updates to their customers, WebYaST for web based remote configuration, and a Mono® server extension that will allow ISVs to leverage their existing .NET expertise to quickly deploy applications on Linux.

"The SUSE Appliance Program makes it easy for ISVs to deploy their applications in the cloud, get to market faster and reduce support costs for themselves and their customers," said Markus Rex, senior vice president and general manager of Novell® Open Platform Solutions. "Novell has taken all of our knowledge about how to build and customize an operating system and captured it for ISVs in one unique program. ISVs don’t need to be experts in Linux distributions to build their own solutions. Instead, they are now free to focus on what they do best – create a better software experience for their customers."

Availability and pricing
SUSE Studio is a free online service available now at SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS is available now at and support will be priced through individual OEM contracts. SUSE Linux Enterprise for Amazon EC2 is available now through Amazon EC2 at (registration required) and is priced at $19 a month and $0.10 a minute. The SUSE Appliance Toolkit will be available later this year and can be previewed at For more information on the SUSE Appliance Program, visit

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers the best engineered, most interoperable Linux platform and a portfolio of integrated IT management software that helps customers around the world reduce cost, complexity and risk. With our infrastructure software and ecosystem of partnerships, Novell harmoniously integrates mixed IT environments, allowing people and technology to work as one. For more information, visit

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