VMware Considering Novell Purchase, Report Says

VMware is among a number of companies in talks to purchase Novell, according to published reports.

Novell is reportedly looking to split up the company and sell it in separate pieces. It is now in "advanced talks" with at least two buyers, including VMware, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

VMware appears to be solely interested in acquiring Novell's SUSE Linux operating system and associated business. Novell's NetWare enterprise file sharing software may be purchased by Attachmate, a software firm specializing in supporting legacy applications, the Journal said.

The paper reported that up to 20 companies were interested in Novell, which put itself on the market in March, but that there are only a handful are serious contenders. Rumors have been flying around this week about the potential sale after an article in the New York Post said advanced acquisition talks were taking place between Novell and two unnamed companies.

Acquiring SUSE Linux would make sense for VMware, which has been actively acquiring companies to build a stack of software for running cloud services. Novell has partnered with VMware, making SUSE Linux the preferred OS for VMware-packaged virtual appliances. Novell has been building cloud services off its Linux base. Also, Red Hat has taken on VMware for the nascent cloud computing market, leveraging its own Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution.

Neither VMware nor Novell immediately responded to requests for comment.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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