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Novell and IBM offer per chassis Linux deal for blades

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Novell and IBM have struck a deal to offer customers the option of switching to per chassis subscription for SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, rather than paying per server. The subscription will cover all blades within an IBM BladeCenter chassis, the companies said, regardless of CPU type or quantity.

IBM's BladeCenter chassis holds up to 14 blades and is compatible with Intel, AMD and Power-based CPU. The savings kick in when a customer is running eight blades or more, based on a per chassis subscription of $2,792. For a full chassis, the companies say the deal could reduce subscription costs by $17,000.

In August, HP announced a per chassis licensing deal with Red Hat, for HP's management software and Red Hat's Enterprise Linux operating system.

Their pitch was similar to the one IBM and Novell are touting now: that a per chassis subscription will be easier for customers to manage, and will give them more flexibility if they need to bring extra servers online at short notice, for instance.

The sales patter might be similar, but Novell and IBM are keen to distance themselves from the HP bundling deal. Ron Hovsepian, Novell head of global field operations, said that the deal was "unlike competitive offerings which simply bundle existing server subscriptions". ®

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