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Novell’s roadmap for Red Carpet

Dec 11, 20033 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Kearns gets an earful from Novell on Ximian Red Carpet

When I cast aspersions on the release of Version 2 of Ximian Red Carpet a few weeks ago, I just knew that someone from Novell would be rattling my cage (or ringing my phone) to try to “set me straight.” Little did I know that PR maven Rod Anderson would roll out the big guns.

Last week, I sat down and listened as the “evil scientist” of ZENworks (also known as Martin Buckley – see and be sure to check the photo links) honored me with a presentation of the product roadmap for both ZENworks and Red Carpet. In this task, he was ably aided and abetted by a henchman – Richard Whitehead, formerly ZENworks product manager and now honcho for “resource management” – that is, ZENworks plus Red Carpet.

What they spelled out for me (after, of course, first getting my attention with a 2-by-4) was that over time and the next few releases all of Red Carpet’s functionality (revolving, as it does, about resource management for Linux and Unix platforms) would be integrated into the ZENworks services so that the typical network manager – with a typical heterogeneous network – could manage all of its resources from a single console.

At the same time, Red Carpet would continue as a separate brand, which would only encompass those resource management activities needed by a “pure” Linux environment. In time – I’d say somewhere around the release of NetWare 7 – all of Red Carpet’s features and functions will be included in ZENworks while also still being available separately.

I did look at this roadmap with some skepticism. After all, developing one integrated product should be easier than developing a non-integrated product (Red Carpet) and then integrating its functionality into ZENworks.

Of course, ZENworks requires a Windows desktop for its management console, something which would be anathema to most Linux fanatics, so it is necessary to maintain Red Carpet’s Linux desktop management services, which use the graphical Linux interfaces of GNOME or KDE.

Still, I can imagine that a lot of NetWare managers would like to administer ZENworks from a GNOME desktop, especially now that Novell (through Ximian) controls GNOME development. Perhaps giving users the option of either a Windows or a Linux platform might solve the dilemma. I’ll suggest that the next time I see Mr. Buckley, which should be in March at BrainShare. (If you haven’t registered yet, head over to and do so right now.)

In the meantime, I’ll believe what Martin and Richard told me about the “separate but integrated” development paths. Not that they threatened me at all, but I did hear Buckley’s odd laugh and some reference to “…and your little dog, too!”