Now that Attachmate has finished up its acquisition of Novell, the private equity-backed conglomerate of midrange software companies has set about breaking the company into two different halves.
For those of you who run SUSE Linux on your iSeries, System i, or Power Systems logical partitions, SUSE is now a separate division of Attachmate, much as Attachmate (with the Attachmate and WRQ products) was separate from the NetIQ security products. With the break, the SUSE Linux business and its related openSUSE development project are now separated from the burden of trying to save Novell and its NetWare and GroupWise from the revenue and profit slide it has endured for the past fifteen years. SUSE Linux, the SUSE Manager provisioning and patching tool (a clone of Red Hat Network), and SUSE Development Studio (an online software appliance packaging tool for SLES) will now be improved in a way that is best for the SUSE Linux community and leads to products that customers use and will pay for.
That’s what Nils Brauckmann, the new president and general manager of the SUSE division of Attachmate, told me last week. Brauckmann said that some of the Novell people who were doing back-office functions will be eliminated now that Attachmate has taken over, and the company has laid off the employees who worked on the Mono Project, which had created an open source reverse-engineered implementation of Microsoft’s .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR) for running C# programs. SUSE will continue to support customers who bought the commercialized version of Mono, of course.
SUSE Linux AG was founded in Germany, and with the Attachmate acquisition, the unit’s headquarters is moving back to Nuremburg. Most of the engineering, support, and sales people who worked for Novell’s Open Platform Solutions unit are still with the new SUSE company. Marcus Rex, who managed the OPS unit for years and who was chief technology officer for the SUSE Linux distro for many years, left the company in the wake of the Attachmate acquisition. Ralf Flaxa has been named vice president of engineering in his stead and will be working from Nuremburg, where the majority of SUSE developers still work, although SUSE has labs in Utah, China, and India and has tech support operations in Utah and the Czech Republic. Michael Miller has been tapped to work under Brauckmann as vice president of global alliances, marketing, and product management for SUSE and will work from Attachmate’s Seattle offices; Brauckmann will be in Nuremburg. Ronald de Jong has been named vice president of EMEA sales, working from the Netherlands, and Terri Hall is vice president of North American sales, working from California.