Novell Announces Intelligent Workload Management (IWM)

Novell LogoToday Novell released the details of their eagerly awaited Intelligent Workload Management (IWM) solutions. Novell has an exceptional opportunity, great development, and an excellent product line that clearly makes sense in this newly defined ‘market’. Plus, Novell really had to respond to their seriously lackluster financial performance in their 4th Quarter and Annual earnings announcement,where it announced a GAAP net loss in fourth fiscal quarter of 2009 of $256 million, and a GAAP net loss for the financial year of $213 million. Even the non-GAAP figures were awful (and personally, I do not believe non-GAAP figures are much better than a shell game), with Q4 net income of only $38 million, and net income for the full fiscal year of $117 million.

Enter Intelligent Workload Management (IWM), which, according to the Novell press release is:

… Novell’s differentiated approach to Intelligent Workload Management [that] integrates identity and systems management capabilities into an application workload, thereby increasing the workload’s security and portability across physical, virtual and cloud environments

All I can say is … bravo Novell!

No, really. It is about time. Novell has exceptional capabilities in virtualization, automation, and service management; and it also adds critical capabilities for security management and compliance, especially around identity management.  These are all core values in what EMA calls ‘the responsible cloud’.

The EMA thesis, essentially, is that cloud computing has too many cowboys, and not enough sheriffs. Enter Novell, the “Doc” Holliday of the cloud landscape, with responsible capabilities for virtualization, automation, service management, and security and compliance.

IBM, Microsoft, Sun, and even Oracle might argue with Novell in some of its claims of uniqueness – after all, all of them have substantial capabilities in all these areas too.

However, regardless of some overreaching in their marketing, competitive threats, a nascent market, and gaps in actual product capability, Novell has an excellent opportunity to re-brand itself and deliver some exceptional capabilities to deliver on private cloud computing goals, and is as well positioned as any vendor to stake a claim to what they label ‘Intelligent Workload Management’.

Keep an eye out for EMA’s more detailed Impact Brief on this announcement. Very interesting stuff, without doubt.