Novell's identity management gets some open-source competition

Novell is used to competing with Linux, but can it compete with open source more generally?

Life may have just become a wee bit harder for Novell. Novell has been an open-source competitor for years in the Linux market, but it's less clear how Novell will react to open-source competitors to its proprietary products.

In the Linux server market, Novell knows how to fight fire with fire, with IDC suggesting that Novell's SUSE has been making market-share gains at Red Hat's expense. Red Hat still dominates the market with more than 60 percent of global market share, but Novell has an increasingly viable response to Red Hat's dominance.

It's less clear, however, how Novell will compete with open-source product in a market where its own product is proprietary. Recently, an open-source identity management solution called Zivios launched to go head-to-head with Novell's proprietary identify management solution.

Identity management is an area of strength for Novell, but Zivios wants to cut into its market, as ZDNet describes:

"It is akin to Novell Zenworks, Novel Zenworks Linux Management, Novell Zenworks Patch Management combined," said Rehan Zafar, COO at Zivios. "However, Novell Zenworks suite of products is designed to work in a Novell eDirectory environment. Zivios uses completely open source industry standard and popular technologies. Zivios fits the same space as Microsoft's Active directory does in the windows arena, with a more ambitious road map."

Novell has dabbled in open sourcing some elements of identity management in the past, but has mainly sought to hold onto its identity management revenue stream. If Zivios has its way, that's about to change. Even so, it has a long way to go. Novell isn't losing sleep about Zivios...yet.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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