Novell moves to poach Linux users with migration programme

Novell has declared war on Linux rival Red Hat and is offering customers special Red Hat server migration deals

Novell has declared war on Linux rival Red Hat and is offering customers special Red Hat server migration deals to its own Suse Linux platform.

Novell has announced the availability of a new subscription and support programme designed to aid customers making the transition from their existing third-party Linux distribution to Suse Linux Enterprise Server.

The Suse Linux Enterprise Server Subscription with Expanded Support programme includes a three-year subscription to Suse Linux Enterprise Server, which provides technical support for a customer's existing Linux deployments for up to two years while they complete the transition to Suse Linux Enterprise.

Novell says the new programme is "in response to growing customer demand for help as they make the strategic decision to transition their datacentre Linux infrastructure from existing third-party distributions, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS, to Suse Linux Enterprise Server".

Many times, says Novell, customers who want to move between platforms are constrained by factors such as IT resource limitations, application migration scheduling and training costs, which means they need time to make an orderly transition.

In response to this, Novell is providing technical support for a customer's existing Linux environment and is also delivering training and tools to ensure the transition to the Suse Linux Enterprise platform is a smooth one.

The offer includes Novell repackaging and distributing Red Hat security and productivity updates to its own customers that have jumped ship. Under open-source working, it is allowed to do this.

"As the Linux market matures, we are increasingly being approached by customers who want to move to Suse Linux Enterprise, attracted by Novell's award-winning support, superb interoperability in mixed-source environments, and by our support for mission critical applications," said Justin Steinman, vice-president of solution and product marketing at Novell.

"This new program makes it even easier for these customers to make the move to Novell."

The market will now be waiting to see if Red Hat reacts and launches a Suse to Red Hat programme.

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