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Novell explains Red Carpet release

Nov 18, 20033 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinux

* Novell gives details on Ximian Red Carpet Enterprise update

Novell rolled out the red carpet last week – actually, a new version of Ximian Red Carpet Enterprise, the management utility for Linux.

I was struck by some of the wording in the press release (as well as some of the words that were left out), so I rattled the cage of Novell PR tyro Rod Anderson for an explanation.

You may have seen press announcements about the rollout and wondered the same things I did. The phrase I was struck by was “Red Carpet Enterprise can also extend the Linux capabilities of Novell ZENworks.” You might think this means that Red Carpet could be an add-on to ZENworks, adding Linux to the operating systems – NetWare and most Windows – that it supports. You, as I was, would be wrong.

According to Anderson, that phrase “was used to indicate that there was some Linux support in ZENworks, but that Red Carpet Enterprise adds more Linux management functionality.” (ZENworks for Servers does have limited use in a Linux environment.)

The words that struck me as being left out were “directory enabled.” Red Carpet knows nothing about eDirectory. Rod confirmed this. That looks bad (I can hear the rumormongers now, claiming that Novell is abandoning the directory), but as Anderson went on to say, Red Carpet 2 was mostly finished when Novell acquired Ximian. To integrate ZENworks, or directory-enable the application would have delayed its release – which I’m told (and I always believe PR people, don’t you?) was being clamored for by many Linux users.

Anderson did assure me that the Red Carpet and ZENworks lines would be thoroughly integrated in the near future (one or two releases down the road) and that directory enablement would be added where appropriate.

Seems reasonable, but I remember there was another Linux management application that was eDirectory-enabled from day one. Caldera (which last year changed its name to SCO but will probably need another name change soon) had a management package called Volution, which I had written about a few times. SCO no longer offers the application, though, as it concentrates on lawsuits rather than development these days.

SCO PR maven Blake Stowell tells me that the name was changed from Volution Manager to SCO Manager a little over a year ago, but that “when the company decided to stop all of its efforts around Linux, it stopped selling SCO Manager.”

The product itself has been spun off to another company, called Vintela (funded by the Canopy Group, the venture capital fund behind Caldera and SCO), but its Web site (I wasn’t able to contact anyone at the company) doesn’t mention the management product, listing instead something called Vintela Management Extensions (VMX), an add-on for Windows Systems Management Server to enable management of Linux and Unix platforms. That’s too bad, because I really liked Volution. There’s a definite market for an eDirectory-enabled management program for Linux, which could be very important to you soon. I’ll let you know if one shows up.