VMware is expected to acquire Novell's Linux SuSE operating system (OS) unit as part of Novell's reported plans to divest parts of the company.
According to a report by Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Novell is in "advanced talks" with two buyers, including VMware, which has shown interest in Novell's SuSE Linux OS business.
Analysts believe the acquisition will improve VMware's cloud computing offering. Chris Wolf, analyst at Gartner, said in a blog post, "If VMware acquires Novell SuSE Linux, it will have a vertical offering much like Microsoft, Oracle, and Red Hat."
"This strategy will not guarantee long term success for VMware, but offering an OS and a vertical stack is necessary to fend off similar offerings from competitors," added Wolf.
Novell asked potential acquirers to bid for the whole company or individual pieces earlier this year but discussions about how to divide Novell's sales force, patents and intellectual property are slowing announcements down, said WSJ.
Open source and Linux specialist Novell announced a fall in sales and profits in the third quarter of its fiscal year, ending 31 July.