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Should VMware add Novell's virtualization management tools?

As speculation swirls around a possible deal for Novell's SUSE Linux operating system, virtualization experts are also eyeing Novell's PlateSpin virtualization management tools.

VMware's customers say that the server virtualization vendor still lags third-party specialists in virtualization management. And though uncertainty about the rumored Novell merger continues to reign, some parts of Novell's management portfolio could bolster VMware's.

Initial reports on Novell's ongoing liquidation sale held that the process would happen in two phases: one deal with a "strategic buyer"-- reportedly VMware Inc. -- for the SUSE Linux OS business, with the rest, including its NetWare and IT management software product lines, going to another buyer. Now, Reuters reports that talks have stalled and quotes a source describing Novell's management tools as "a dying cow." But at least in some corners, Novell's virtualization management tools are the most intriguing part of the acquisition rumors.

Novell management standouts
One of Novell's important management products is SUSE Studio. It could be a promising prospect to slot into VMware's existing product line, according to independent consultant Andrew Storrs. "SUSE Studio is really the premier application people use to create virtual appliances," Storrs said. "It could get a lot more use going forward with VMware's branding behind it."

SUSE Studio is popular in smaller disaster recovery environments for creating standardized virtual appliances that can be ported between private and public cloud environments. And because it is based on Java, it could tie in with VMware's vFabric application development efforts.

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