The latest version of Novell's ZENworks system management software offers enterprise Linux management for the first time.
ZENWorks 6.5, shipping on Monday, includes ZENworks Linux Management which supports Red Hat and SuSE Linux and is the latest version of Ximian Red Carpet Enterprise.
The software provides policy-based central management for Linux server and desktop systems, automating software updates and their effect on other applications.
There is also extended support for Windows Server and handheld and mobile devices, so a mixed Linux/Windows/NetWare infrastructure can now be managed using one product.
"ZENworks was much more advanced for desktop deployments, but Red Carpet managed servers. So this was an ideal match," said David Patrick, former Ximian chief executive and now Novell Resource Management general manager.
p>The software also includes ZENworks Patch Management, which includes information to guide administrators as to whether a particular patch is critical or even needed, and automated patch deployment.
Chris Ingle, senior consultant at analyst IDC, told vnunet.com: "If you think of the challenges for an administrator with a mix of Intel systems, this is the sort of thing they will be looking for."
He added that patch management on Linux was a particular problem in corporates, while the software would appeal to those not wanting to pay for high-end management systems like IBM's Tivoli.
"ZENworks is already widely used, and becoming more comprehensive will be attractive to existing customers. But it will have to prove itself," warned Ingle.
A special edition of Intellishield AdminStudio, which automates software packaging, customisation and quality assurance, is included as AdminStudio ZENworks Edition.
This has a wizard tightly integrated with ZENworks to create application objects for software packages and automatically distribute them.
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