In unveiling its new strategy and product roadmap for intelligent workload management (IWM), Novell has firmly planted its flag as a significant player in key datacentre technologies such as virtualisation and cloud computing.

The company says that its differentiated approach to IWM integrates identity and systems management capabilities into an application workload, thereby increasing the workload's security and portability across physical, virtual and cloud environments. As a result, it adds, enterprises are able to significantly reduce the risks and challenges of computing across multiple environments while granting their users secure and compliant access to the full computing services they need.
“Customers today are looking for a pragmatic solution to securely manage and optimise their distributed computing resources,” says Ron Hovsepian, president and CEO of Novell. “Novell's approach to intelligent workload management will help companies leverage their existing IT assets, realise the significant cost benefits offered by new models like virtualisation and cloud computing, and provide them with the necessary tools to secure information as it moves inside and outside the organisation.
"With our unique portfolio of technology and partners, Novell is well-positioned to become a leader in the rapidly emerging Intelligent Workload Management market,” Hovsepian says.
Michelle Beetar, MD of Novell SA, says the new strategy has already pricked the interest of both chanel partners and customers.
"It has certainly given all our partners something to talk about and once again entenched Novell when it comes to thought leadership," Beetar says. "This is where new models like cloud computing and virtualisation are going and the response from some major players that we've spoken to has been: 'Wow!'."
Over the next 12 months, Novell will introduce eight new products that further extend the solutions the company already has for the IWM market. Core to its approach will be the unique integration of its identity and security technologies into products that address customer challenges across the entire IWM lifecycle: build, secure, manage and measure.
Because Novell's approach is modular, customers can start with any product at any point in the lifecycle and be confident that they are moving down the path to Intelligent Workload Management.
In addition to Novell's current portfolio of products that address the IWM market, the company plans to introduce products in each of the following four categories:
Build
To help enterprises and ISVs build intelligent workloads, Novell will add products and capabilities to its successful SUSE Appliance Programme . SUSE Studio TM, a Web-based product released last year, builds complete software appliances in a matter of minutes. SUSE Studio is the leader in the software appliance market, with more than 100, 000 built appliances and more than 40 000 registered users worldwide. In 2010, Novell plans to introduce the following products to help customers build intelligent workloads:
* SUSE Appliance Toolkit – a new suite of tools that will dramatically improve the efficiency of deploying and maintaining Linux-based appliances in physical and virtual environments, including update, access and configuration management capabilities.
*  Novell  “Workshop” – a new tool to build and edit intelligent workloads with embedded manageability, security and compliance for both Linux* and Windows-based applications, including one-stop configuration, manipulation and modification of virtual machine images.
Secure
To help customers address their identity and security needs, Novell offers a portfolio of solutions today, including Novell Identity Manager, the Novell Compliance Management Platform and Novell SentinelTM. In the future, Novell will add capabilities to these products that bring identity and policy awareness into workloads. Novell plans to ship the following products to help customers secure their intelligent workloads:
* Novell Identity Manager 4  – a significant update to Novell's flagship identity management product that helps customers manage identity inside and outside their enterprise with real-time provisioning, reporting and industry-leading roles management.
*  Novell Cloud Security Service (announced earlier this year, targeted to ship in 2010) – a new tool that will enable enterprises to impose their individual identity and security protocols on software as a service(SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) vendors.
Manage
To help customers manage and move workloads within and across their physical and virtual environments, Novell today offers PlateSpin ® Workload Management solutions and Business Service Management solutions. In 2010, Novell plans to introduce new products that integrate and extend these management capabilities to the cloud to ensure optimal execution of workloads both on- and off-site. These product developments include:
* PlateSpin  “Atlantic” – a self-service provisioning portal that enables line-of-business managers to provision applications based on business need, while allowing IT to automatically optimise deployment using a combination of physical, virtual and cloud computing resources.
* PlateSpin  “Bluestar” – a new physical server change and configuration management and monitoring system.
* ZENworks  “Workbench” – a master repository and change/control system for workloads, from which they can be deployed on-demand to any environment.
Measure
To help customers measure and gain real-time insight into their IT operations, Novell offers a suite of products including Novell Business Service Manager, Novell Business Experience Manager TM , Novell myCMDB TM , Novell Sentinel, and Novell Sentinel Log Manager. Moving forward, Novell will extend these products to manage cloud environments to ensure service level reporting of workloads across physical, virtual and cloud environments. Novell plans to release a new offering in 2010 to help customers implement Compliant IT Service Management (CITSM):
* Novell Compliance Automation  – this new offering integrates the Novell Sentinel security information and event management products with Novell Business Service Manager to deliver identity-aware, real-time monitoring of events happening throughout the IT infrastructure.