Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Novell is going greener today, announcing the availability of SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, which it says is designed for the next-generation data center, offering better energy efficiency, high availability, and  virtualization support.

That could be welcome news for IT solution providers and IT organizations looking to demonstrate cost savings to those who control the budgets.

“With the way the economy is right now IT organizations are prioritizing their spend,” says Steve Hale, head of the data center organization for Novell’s channel program. “We feel SUSE Linux Enteprise 11 lines up well in terms of helping organizations get the most out of their IT infrastructure. Cost is absolutely in our favor.”

And the low cost of Linux is apparently a message that is resonating with IT executives. A recent survey of these professionals, conducted by IDC and sponsored by Novell, shows that close to 50 percent of IT executives are planning to increase their adoption of Linux server and desktop technologies due to the economic downturn.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUS Linux Enterprise Desktop offer two new extensions – the SUSE Linux Enterprise Mono Extension which Novell says is the only product that enables customers to run fully-supported Microsoft. .NET-based applications on Linux, and SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension, a clustering product that ensures high availability for mission-critical applications.

“As virtualization realizes its full potential and cloud computing begins to transform the data center, operating systems need to be engineered to enable these new solutions,” says Matt Eastwood, group vice president at IDC, in a prepared statement. “By fully supporting physical, virtual, appliance and cloud computing models with SUSE Linux Enterprise, Novell can help customers at each step in the evolution of the data center.”

Eastwood also notes that SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 works with customers’ existing IT infrastructure and provides solutions for identity, security and systems management.

Novell says SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 will be supported by Novell global strategic partners including Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, Oracle and SAP AG.

Novell also announced the availability of Novell ZENworks Linux Management 7.3, which extends policy-driven automation to SUSE Linux Enterprise 11. Managing both desktop and server systems, ZENworks Linux Management makes it easier to deploy, manage and maintain Linux resources with advanced policies for desktops and servers, Novell said in a statement. When used with SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, ZENworks Linux Management enables customers to reduce the time and cost spent managing their IT infrastructure, according to Novell.

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 has been optimized to run at near-native performance on all major hypervisors, including VMware ESX, Microsoft Hyper-V and Xen.