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We've often asked you how you want to use technology to really grow your business. Your answers usually include one word–virtualization. It's understandable, because the concept of virtualization is so promising. But so far, the actual impact of it in the enterprise has generally fallen short of expectations.

That is changing with a major virtualization initiative well underway at Novell. We are providing you with tools you need to build safe and strong bridges from your current, physical computing environments to the more dynamic, effective and economical world of virtualized computing.

We're focusing on broadening the applicability of virtualization within the enterprise data center in safe and secure ways. Our solutions will leverage open source and open standards, enable you to implement changes at your own pace to make sure you see results every step of the way. But to better understand where Novell is taking virtualization, let's first take a quick step back.

What is virtualization and why is it such a hot topic in the industry? Simply, virtualized computing resources can be utilized more fully, deployed more quickly and flexibly and managed more efficiently. It lets you do a lot more with less.

The "secret sauce" of virtualization is its ability to create abstract versions of computing resources. In their abstract form, resources such as processing power, storage capacity and data can rise above their physical constraints, such as geographic location, and operate on a logical rather than physical basis. In short, virtualization aggregates and applies computing resources in ways previously not possible, offering the potential for major business impact.

Virtualization has gained traction, for example, in network storage. But many enterprises haven't even begun to explore its potential. Why? The answer is risk and complexity. Virtualizing assets, such as network storage is one thing. Doing the same with high-bandwidth, mission-critical applications is an entirely different matter–exponentially more complex and risky.

Novell understands these concerns and is actively engaged in helping you overcome them. A case in point is our exciting announcement with Microsoft. Our intent is to put customers' needs ahead of all other concerns and break up the technological log jam that has been preventing greater interoperability. One major part of the deal is the two companies will jointly develop compelling virtualization offerings for Linux and Windows. We're excited about the possibilities this will create for customers, and of course we're thrilled about what Microsoft's endorsement means for SUSE Linux Enterprise offerings. (novell.com/linux/microsoft)

We're making the promise of virtualization technology a reality for you. It's the right time to start using it. We're ready to help you discover what it can do for your organization.

As always, we appreciate your feedback. Please sent it to editor@novell.com.

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