Dell to offer Novell ZENworks for Linux servers

Dell on Monday said it will begin offering a version of Novell's ZENworks 7 software customized for managing Dell's PowerEdge servers running Linux.

The ZENworks 7 Linux Management -- Dell Edition is expected to be available April 19 and can manage servers running either Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, according to Judy Chavis, director of business development for enterprise software alliances at Dell.

About 20 percent of the servers Dell ships wind up running Linux, Chavis said.

"We wanted to figure out how to help the true Linux systems diehard," she said. The Dell edition of ZENworks has been customized down to the BIOS and hardware component level. "We looked at the bare metal of our product."

The software will cost US$69 per license from Dell.

Dell also sells Precision workstations installed with Linux, as well as N Series desktops that come without an operating system for those who want to install Linux. Echoing comments earlier this month by Dell CEO Michael Dell, Chavis said that with the exception of certain large custom overseas orders, Dell will continue to avoid installing a particular flavor of Linux until the market consolidates.

"There a ton of distros out there. Which two or three should we go off and support? It's a big Catch-22," she said. "We will wait for the dust to settle on the desktop side."

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