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Caldera debuts do-it-all package manager

We are not Tivoli. Phew

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Ahead of what it describes as a coming out party at LinuxWorld, Caldera today announced Volution. This is a do-it-all systems management tool designed to take the headaches out of managing package installations across networks.

Volution also has the PC health monitoring features that Wintel made so much of when the TCO debate was raging a couple of years ago, and will eventually add WBEM support in Windows 2000, if not much else, Caldera's CTO Drew Spencer told us.

According to Spencer, there's a lot of Novell heritage in Volution. But he's keen to emphasis the product is not one of these all-embracing behemoths imposed on big organisations, such as UniCenter, OpenView or Tivoli.

Even though it performs much the same role, Caldera wants folk to think of Volution as something more scalable: bottom-up, rather than top-down.

Volution uses XML for messaging, a SQL database or one of several LDAP servers as a repository: LDAP and Novell's eDirectory are in the box. It's been tested against rival Linux distros, says Spencer, and will work with OpenServer and UnixWare too. Caldera is in the process of acquiring SCO's UnixWare line, and has a marketing agreement with Tarantella Inc. to distribute OpenServer.

The source code will be made available under GNU's General Public License, and the package will cost $2995 list. Sexy it might not be, but Volution makes buying into Linux look like a whole less risky proposition for wary IT managers, so it's strategic significance shouldn't be underestimated. ®

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