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Novell Policy for Patch and Service Pack Access

Understanding the Changes Coming February 1, 2010

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Novell has consistently been ahead of the curve in customer support, and we are constantly looking at new and better ways to help our customers make the most of our products. Novell maintenance is a key component of this effort. As part of our ongoing commitment to support customers as they leverage our solutions to reduce costs, manage complexity and mitigate risk we're emphasizing maintenance more than ever.

Novell maintenance combines the product updates, training and technical support that are key to having the best possible experience with Novell products and solutions. In fact, most of our buying programs require some level of maintenance coverage to ensure customers have the resources they need to be successful.

Historically, many customers have been able to keep their systems up to date without purchasing maintenance or subscription coverage. However, like many of our industry peers, Novell will soon be implementing authentication and entitlement authorization in order access these valuable maintenance resources.

Specifically, beginning February 1, 2010, we will require maintenance (or subscription) coverage and authentication in order to access patches and service packs for most Novell products.

In this article, we review the details of this policy and discuss its implications—ensuring that you can make an informed decision about purchasing maintenance on behalf of your organization.

Who is Affected?

Beginning February 1, those who have been downloading patches and service pack updates without subscription or maintenance coverage will need to purchase a subscription or a maintenance contract to continue accessing these resources. Please note that maintenance benefits vary based on buying program. For more information, consult the buying program guides at

If you're a customer of the SUSE Linux Enterprise product line, you are already accustomed to the benefits of a subscription-based model. For these products, patch and service pack access will remain consistent with current policies.

Additionally, academic customers with ALA or SLA agreements will continue to have access to all patches and service packs for the products they own as a benefit of their buying program.

Are Any Products Excluded from the Policy?

Stand-alone security patches will always be provided without cost. Stand-alone security patches are those that are released without any additional product fixes or updates, but are vital for your security and the security of your data. Any patch that is bundled with other product fixes or updates—including those that are prerequisites to the security patch—will require maintenance or subscription authorization.

Additionally, the entitlement policy will not apply to NetWare or products that have moved beyond the general support phase of the Novell product lifecycle. (See Exclusions To This Policy.)

The Advantages of Novell Maintenance

Novell will continue to offer several benefits to our customers free of charge, including access to the Novell Support Knowledgebase, product documentation, evaluation software, product collateral, and community-generated resources such as Cool Solutions, Novell Connection Magazine, and the Novell Support Forums for community-level support and information-sharing.

However, it's important to understand that the maintenance or subscription coverage that provides ongoing access to patches and service packs delivers value far beyond the scope of this policy. With maintenance, you tap into all the resources and advantages of an established global services organization with a long and proven track record evidenced by our high levels of customer satisfaction and recognition, numerous quality certifications and industry to awards .

In addition to patch and service pack access, a maintenance investment delivers the following advantages:

  • Immediate access to version upgrades, enabling you to take advantage of new features and functionality more quickly.
  • World-class technical support and the fundamental training that increases end-user productivity, system performance and organizational success.

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  • Access to additional enterprise-level support and training services (such as service account management and dedicated support engineers) that decrease time to value and increase return on every Novell investment.

What's Still AvailableWithout Maintenance?

  • Stand-alone security patches
  • Access to the Novell Support Knowledgebase
  • Product documentation
  • Product evaluation versions
  • Product collateral (e.g., technical white papers and upgrade guides) on
  • Access to Cool Solutions for community-generated resources
  • Access to Novell Connection Magazine
  • Access to the Novell Support Forums for community-level support and information-sharing

What More Do You Get With Maintenance?

  • All the resources above, plus
  • World-class technical support
  • Product version upgrades
  • First Look On-demand training
  • Access to enterprise-level services such as service account management and dedicated support engineers
  • Access to product service packs and patches

Making the Most of Your Novell Investment

Knowing you have these resources, you can adopt and manage your solutions with confidence; keep your systems available, reliable and optimized; and improve productivity across all levels of your organization. Most importantly, you can focus on driving your business, knowing that Novell is there to keep your systems running smoothly. To learn more about this policy—and to access materials on the value of Novell maintenance—visit

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