Volume 20, Number 19 -- May 23, 2011

Attachmate Busts Apart SUSE from Novell, Puts Own People in Charge

Published: May 23, 2011

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

Now that Attachmate has finished up its acquisition of Novell, the private equity-backed conglomerate of midrange software companies has set about breaking the company into two different halves.

For those of you who run SUSE Linux on your iSeries, System i, or Power Systems logical partitions, SUSE is now a separate division of Attachmate, much as Attachmate (with the Attachmate and WRQ products) was separate from the NetIQ security products. With the break, the SUSE Linux business and its related openSUSE development project are now separated from the burden of trying to save Novell and its NetWare and GroupWise from the revenue and profit slide it has endured for the past fifteen years. SUSE Linux, the SUSE Manager provisioning and patching tool (a clone of Red Hat Network), and SUSE Development Studio (an online software appliance packaging tool for SLES) will now be improved in a way that is best for the SUSE Linux community and leads to products that customers use and will pay for.

That's what Nils Brauckmann, the new president and general manager of the SUSE division of Attachmate, told me last week. Brauckmann said that some of the Novell people who were doing back-office functions will be eliminated now that Attachmate has taken over, and the company has laid off the employees who worked on the Mono Project, which had created an open source reverse-engineered implementation of Microsoft's .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR) for running C# programs. SUSE will continue to support customers who bought the commercialized version of Mono, of course.

SUSE Linux AG was founded in Germany, and with the Attachmate acquisition, the unit's headquarters is moving back to Nuremburg. Most of the engineering, support, and sales people who worked for Novell's Open Platform Solutions unit are still with the new SUSE company. Marcus Rex, who managed the OPS unit for years and who was chief technology officer for the SUSE Linux distro for many years, left the company in the wake of the Attachmate acquisition. Ralf Flaxa has been named vice president of engineering in his stead and will be working from Nuremburg, where the majority of SUSE developers still work, although SUSE has labs in Utah, China, and India and has tech support operations in Utah and the Czech Republic. Michael Miller has been tapped to work under Brauckmann as vice president of global alliances, marketing, and product management for SUSE and will work from Attachmate's Seattle offices; Brauckmann will be in Nuremburg. Ronald de Jong has been named vice president of EMEA sales, working from the Netherlands, and Terri Hall is vice president of North American sales, working from California.

On the Novell front, Attachmate has moved the company's headquarters from Boston, where it was relocated a decade ago after Novell acquired Cambridge Technology Partners, back to its stomping grounds of Provo, Utah. Bob Flynn, another long-time Attachmate exec who joined the company back in 1998 and who did 17 years before that managing large accounts at IBM, has been named president and general manager of the Novell unit. David Wilkes, who has been with Novell since 1991 and who spearheaded the development of the later releases of NetWare and the Open Enterprise Server hybrid, which runs NetWare services atop a SUSE Linux kernel, has been named vice president of engineering at Novell.


Antitrusters Nod Attachmate's Novell Buy, SLES 10 Gets Final Service Pack

Novell Shareholders Vote Yes for $2.2 Billion Attachmate Acquisition

Legacy-Loving Attachmate Shells Out $2.2 Billion for Novell

Novell preps service pack for SUSE Linux 11 (The Register)

SUSE 11 takes off faster than 10 (The Register)

Novell kicks out SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 (The Register)

Novell Delivers Service Pack 2 for SUSE Linux

Novell Previews Features in SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

Novell Ships Service Pack 1 for SUSE Linux 10

Novell Aggressively Launches SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10

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