Novell today agreed to buy PlateSpin, a move that will allow it to deliver business-critical services across both physical and virtual infrastructures. PlateSpin offers solutions for the management of heterogeneous workloads that encapsulate data, applications and operating systems residing on a physical or virtual host, improving the speed and quality of server consolidation, data centre relocation and disaster recovery. 

Novell and PlateSpin will deliver support for mixed infrastructure environments offering products for complete workload lifecycle management and optimisation for Linux, Unix and Windows operating systems in the physical and virtual data centre. The combined solutions will help customers reduce costs, improve service levels and respond to fluctuating business requirements.
"Flexible, automated management products that fully leverage server resources and allow the movement of workloads are necessary for optimising the data centre," says Stephen Elliot, research director: Enterprise Systems Management Software and ITMS at IDC. "Over the next three years, heterogeneous virtualisation architectures will be the norm for most IT organisations; as such they must purchase data centre management solutions that offer an ongoing opportunity for lowering operational costs as well as integrating and managing VMs across both server and storage infrastructures for greater control and visibility between hardware and the virtual software tiers."
The acquisition of PlateSpin will allow Novell to offer customers a full solution stack with a powerful virtualisation platform and a heterogeneous management solution.
Together, Novell and PlateSpin will solve many of the data centre challenges that customers face today, including:
* Relocation: PlateSpin provides a completely integrated product suite that automates the assessment and migration phases of data centre initiatives, like server consolidation, data centre relocation and hardware upgrades, to help customers reduce costs, power consumption and space in the data centre.
* Protection: PlateSpin's disaster recovery solutions offer affordable workload protection that leverages virtualisation technology to protect both physical and virtual servers in the data centre, for improved security and business continuity.
* Provisioning: Using PlateSpin's technologies, customers will have a single approach to imaging and configuring physical and virtual workloads regardless of platform. This eliminates the manual install process and dramatically reduces the time to provision new server workloads. It will also enable customers to address changing resource requirements at peak demand times as well as in test lab scenarios.
* Optimisation and management: Novell and PlateSpin optimise the balance between physical and virtual infrastructure by automatically monitoring and making infrastructure adjustments based on server availability and workload demand. By automating the process and increasing the visibility into how workloads use physical and virtual resources over time, customers will be able to increase server utilisation and optimise their data centres by better addressing common workload movement challenges.
The acquisition of PlateSpin will enable the heterogeneous data centre with support for leading operating systems and virtual platforms. It will also provide tools that easily enable customers to move physical workloads to Xen-based virtual machines running on SuSe Linux Enterprise as well as other virtual platforms provided by VMware, Citrix, Microsoft and others.
Ron Hovsepian, president and CEO of Novell, says: "The PlateSpin acquisition will be a cornerstone of our two-pronged enterprise Linux and IT management software strategy. With the addition of the PlateSpin product portfolio, Novell will be uniquely positioned to deliver the next generation infrastructure software that is at the core of the data centre.
"Together, we will have the most comprehensive workload management solution that allows customers to monitor and analyse what to virtualise, provide the tools to seamlessly virtualise and unvirtualise workloads, automate the management of workloads, and provide the leading open source platform from which to run virtualised work."
Stephen Pollack, founder and CEO of PlateSpin, adds: "PlateSpin's ability to manage workloads is unparalleled and is an essential part of making the data centre truly respond to the needs of the business. Combined with ZENworks Orchestrator and virtualisation from Novell, we are very excited about the synergies that this acquisition will give to customers."