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Novell is acquiring PlateSpin, a 4-year-old startup in Toronto that has capitalized on the disaster recovery potential of virtualization software. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the acquisition for $205 million.
Novell wants a bigger piece of the growing virtualization pie and is entering the market as a supplier of management software for both virtual and physical machines. PlateSpin offers several cross-vendor products to achieve that goal, said Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian in a Monday Webcast explaining Novell's move.
"We can work with XenSource [supplier of open source Xen], VMware [ESX Server], and Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisors. We will continue to work with those companies," said Stephen Pollack, founder and CEO of PlateSpin, who participated in the Webcast. PlateSpin's products can manage hardware running Windows, Linux, or Unix.
Sun Microsystems has previously taken a similar tack as it launched its xVM suite of virtualization and data center management products.
But Novell brings a closer relationship with Microsoft than other parties when it talks about managing heterogeneous environments. "We will use the relationship that Novell already has in place to expand what we do with Microsoft," Pollack added.
Novell's chief marketing officer, John Dragoon, said Novell will seek to become the supplier of management software for "complete workload life-cycle management," able to provision a server, move the workload to another server or into a virtual machine, provide disaster recovery and backup, and decommission a server when it's life cycle is over.
PlateSpin's PowerConvert software lets a data center administrator move workloads around, either from one physical server to another or from a physical server to a virtual machine located on a different piece of hardware. PlateSpin's PowerRecon detects and tracks newly created virtual machines and generates chargeback reports for users.
Since January, PlateSpin also has offered hardware preloaded with its software, PlateSpin Forge, a disaster recovery appliance that can protect the workloads of 25 servers by hosting duplicated workloads as virtual machines. In the event of a failure, the appliance takes over and substitutes for the downed server until it can be replaced.
Novell, the distributor of SUSE Linux, expanded its open source offerings through the Feb. 13 acquisition of SiteScape, a company making team collaboration software and host to the Icecore open source project.