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VMware announced in June that Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) will be shipped with every copy of VMware’s vSphere product. In addition, VMware sales staff will have incentives to sell SLES. During the recent sales call by Novell, they expanded on the details of the enhanced partnership.

According to VMware’s page for SLES on VMware, it also sounds as if current vSphere customers would be eligible for a supported copy of SLES as well.

This is incredible news – it means that SUSE may be able to gain some traction in the data center. I’ve been partial to SUSE in some ways ever since I found that XFS (and JFS!) had been supported in SUSE Linux for years before Red Hat did – SUSE has always supported technologies first, providing more value than Red Hat did.

I also supported SUSE Linux in the data center in the past; it has been rock solid (as is Red Hat). SUSE Linux has a lot to offer – as does OpenSUSE (which just recently introduced 11.3).

Red Hat has always done well – as it should – but SUSE has been in the shadows for too long.

It has also been noted that VMware could be a company that buys SUSE and Novell’s Linux business. VMware was bought by EMC not that long ago. Cisco also has a joint venture with EMC that includes VMware products. Is it possible that Cisco will be shipping products with SLES on them?

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