The acquisition will provide more choices for the Indian Linux users. Till now, Red Hat Linux is the dominant Linux flavour that goes with the servers at the enterprise level. Since the sales of the other flavours like SuSE, Caldera and Turbo Linux are through the channels, Red Hat with its direct presence, cornered a major market share in the Indian market. This may change with Novells acquisition.
With IBM investing in Novell to the tune of $50 million, analysts are concerned whether it will start packing its boxes with SuSE without leaving any choice to the customer to pick from other Linux flavours. If it does, it may hurt Red Hat in the Indian market.
However, IBM India did not want to comment on the future ramifications of investment in Novell. It is too early to comment, said the IBMs spokesperson.
He added, IBMs investment in Novell is consistent with companys history related to Linux. We have invested in a number of Linux distributors including Red Hat, SuSE and Turbo Linux in the past. The investment also helps assure IBM customers that there will be strong continued support for SuSE Linux across our family of eServers and suite of middleware offerings.
With 16 per cent market share in the server operating system at the enterprise level in India, Onward India will open up a new front in the enterprise computing business.
Said Onward Novell Software national manager for alliances and marketing Ashit J Panjawani, SuSE will increase our addressibility at the Indian enterprise market with offerings across various areas from servers, desktop, office productivity suite to collaborative management.
Novells proximity with open source technologies is well known especially with the launch of Netware 6.5. The Netware 6.5 has open components like Apache Web server, My SQL database server and Tomcat application server. It has decided to release Netware 7.0 early next year where Netware services will be available on Linux kernal along with Netware kernal. Next month, Novell is releasing Nterprise Linux service 1.0 which will have Netware services from file print, e-directory to network management services.
Said Mr Panjawani, Open source provides a viable alternative to various proprietary solutions and it is becoming popular across the enterprise. We should not miss those clients who want to deploy various Netware services on Linux. So now, our offerings include a flavour of Linux and various Netware applications running on it along with a close relationship with Linux developers.
For Red Hat, it could be the end of dominance. However, the companys director for Indian operations Javed F Tapia feels that competition will help the Indian market to expand. We are a pure play open source company with no diluted model where open source and proprietary software business co-exists. Our whole ecosystem which sits on the top of the operating system (OS) from support, services, training to certification has gained popularity in the Indian market.
Linux enjoys 6 per cent of market share in the Indian enterprise market. IDC India head of computing products research Aman Munglani, said, Netware has many installations in the banking and finance. The acquisition will not take the market by storm and there will be some SuSE installations in future.