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Novell is offering the first Linux-based desktop-to-server package to SMBs with its Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business bundled package.

Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition, a SUSE Linux-based desktop-to-server solution tailored to meet the needs of small businesses, combines the flexibility and cost efficiency of open-source software with the support of Novell and its partners.

The suite provides small businesses with productivity tools and a networking infrastructure at a fraction of the cost of alternative, proprietary-only software bundles such as Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2. The suite includes not just the server software, but five copies of SLED
(SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) 10 SP 1

The Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise and includes Novell GroupWise for e-mail,
task management and calendaring; Novell OES
(Open Enterprise Server) 2
for storage, print and management services; SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1 for running Linux applications; SLED for complete desktop productivity; and the Novell
edition of the office suite for Windows and Linux. To accommodate growing businesses, the suite features can scale up to five servers and 200 users.

With OES, VARs and system integrators can offer NetWare services and the use of NetWare Loadable Modules to their customers. This requires minimal server resources. Any server with a Pentium II or AMD K7 processor and 512MB of RAM can run the basics. For better performance, a server with at least two-way Pentium III, Pentium III Xeon, Pentium 4, or Intel Xeon 700MHz or higher and 1GB of RAM is recommended. Even at the “high” end of the requirements, almost any server hardware from the last three to four years will suffice.

Solution providers can also customize the installation process and deploy the suite in less than an hour using a single DVD, plus remote management capabilities and a help desk tool so that VARs can manage and support their small-business customers’ IT infrastructures over the Web.

To further help customers reduce cost and improve security, Novell’s suite also includes Novell-supported open-source components, including Amanda for backup and archiving, the ClamAV anti-virus toolkit, HylaFAX fax server, iptables for firewall services, MailScanner for spam filtering, the OpenVPN virtual private network and TightVNC for remote control of network clients. In addition, the suite is supported by
popular business software applications certified to work with SUSE
Linux Enterprise.

“With the Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition,
customers can afford the IT infrastructure they need to compete while
keeping costs under control,” said Kent Erickson, senior vice
president and general manager of Workgroup Solutions for Novell, in a
statement. “As small business customers spend less on software through
this suite, they can afford additional services and applications to
meet other business needs and better serve their own customers.”

Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition is available now
from Novell resellers for a suggested price of $350 for every five users, up to
a total of 200 users and five servers. The price includes 30 days of
installation support and maintenance; customers receive unlimited
access to Web and chat-based support. For more information, on the
Workgroup suite visit the product site.