So… a quick question… Who here thought the offering between VMware and Novell regarding inclusion of a SLES license with the purchase of an ESX license was a little telling!? <me raising my hand> 🙂
This sounds like an amazing move for VMware! For those of you that need a primer on what is going on: VMware appears to be a leading candidate to purchase the SLES offering from Novell with the other Novell assets moving elsewhere (including PlateSpin suite of products).
What makes me excited about the purchase is the quality of the Linux distribution that VMware has the potential to acquire. Seriously… think about all of the possible distributions out there. They all do pretty much the same thing (I know… someone is going to have some problem with a generalization like that… please feel free to comment below). People have an affinity for one distribution over another. I really like using Debian (proper) or Ubuntu whenever we need a Linux installation at work.
However, there are always cases in which we are required to use a more “Commercial” distribution. In those situations, there really are 2 big names. RedHat Enterprise Linux and… (drum roll please)… SUSE Enterprise Linux Server!
SLES is considered to be 1 of the big 2 corporate Linux offerings… So, for VMware to have such a large offering in their belt, they are going to be readying themselves to become a major player in the virtualization AND Linux fronts.
I do not see the SLES purchase making a major change in the installation base of RHEL vs. SLES as is. However, with some creative licensing options that would become available, SLES and VMware could really change the adoption rate of SLES. Picture this… for a nominal fee per ESX host, you could run as many SLES OSes on the VMware stack already deployed (perhaps part of the Enterprise or Enterprise Plus SKUs). That would be amazing. Plus, that would be beneficial for those non-SLES environments (aka – RHEL) because I have to believe that RedHat would need to come up with a similar licensure scheme to combat it.
VMware would be running with a great Software stack… ESX, SLES, Spring/Zimbra/etc… that they could control from the ground up to ensure that everything works as expected. Plus, imagine all of the kernel contributions that they would make (in addition to what they contribute now).
So, for whatever it is worth, I would give my stamp of approval to this deal. I believe it would be a great deal for VMware, SLES, and the Linux community.