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Novell to Acquire Data Center Management Leader PlateSpin

Novell to extend interoperability leadership with the industry's first solutions to help enterprises manage workloads across both physical and virtual infrastructures

WALTHAM, Mass. | February 25, 2008

Novell today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire PlateSpin Ltd. This acquisition will extend Novell's leadership position in the next-generation data center by providing the only solution to dynamically deliver business critical services across both physical and virtual infrastructures. PlateSpin offers extensive solutions for the management of heterogeneous workloads that encapsulate data, applications and operating systems residing on a physical or virtual host. These solutions improve the speed and quality of server consolidation, data center relocation and disaster recovery. Novell and PlateSpin will deliver unparalleled support for mixed infrastructure environments offering products for complete workload lifecycle management and optimization for Linux*, UNIX* and Windows* operating systems in the physical and virtual data center. The combined solutions will deliver superior value by helping customers reduce costs, improve service levels and respond to fluctuating business requirements.

"Flexible, automated management products that fully leverage server resources and allow the movement of workloads are necessary for optimizing the data center," said Stephen Elliot, research director, Enterprise Systems Management Software and ITMS at IDC. "Over the next three years, heterogeneous virtualization architectures will be the norm for most IT organizations; as such they must purchase data center management solutions that offer an ongoing opportunity for lowering operational costs as well as integrating and managing VMs across both server and storage infrastructures for greater control and visibility between hardware and the virtual software tiers."

Optimizing the Data Center

The acquisition of PlateSpin will allow Novell to offer customers a full solution stack with a powerful virtualization platform and a best-in-class heterogeneous management solution. Together, Novell and PlateSpin will solve many of the data center challenges that customers face today, including:
  • Relocation: PlateSpin provides a completely integrated product suite that automates the assessment and migration phases of data center initiatives, like server consolidation, data center relocation and hardware upgrades, to help customers reduce costs, power consumption and space in the data center.
  • Protection: PlateSpin's disaster recovery solutions offer affordable workload protection that leverages virtualization technology to protect both physical and virtual servers in the data center, for improved security and business continuity.
  • Provisioning: Using PlateSpin's technologies, customers will have a single approach to imaging and configuring physical and virtual workloads regardless of platform. This eliminates the manual install process and dramatically reduces the time to provision new server workloads. It will also enable customers to address changing resource requirements at peak demand times as well as in test lab scenarios.
  • Optimization and Management: Novell and PlateSpin optimize the balance between physical and virtual infrastructure by automatically monitoring and making infrastructure adjustments based on server availability and workload demand. By automating the process and increasing the visibility into how workloads use physical and virtual resources over time, customers will be able to increase server utilization and optimize their data centers by better addressing common workload movement challenges.

The acquisition of PlateSpin will enable the heterogeneous data center with support for leading operating systems and virtual platforms. It will also further enhance Novell's leadership in open source virtualization by providing tools that easily enable customers to move physical workloads to Xen*-based virtual machines running on SUSE® Linux Enterprise as well as other virtual platforms provided by VMware*, Citrix*, Microsoft* and others.

Ron Hovsepian, president and CEO of Novell, said, "The PlateSpin acquisition will be a cornerstone of our two-pronged enterprise Linux and IT management software strategy. With the addition of the PlateSpin product portfolio, Novell will be uniquely positioned to deliver the next generation infrastructure software that is at the core of the data center. Together, we will have the most comprehensive workload management solution that allows customers to monitor and analyze what to virtualize, provide the tools to seamlessly virtualize and unvirtualize workloads, automate the management of workloads, and provide the leading open source platform from which to run virtualized work."

Stephen Pollack, founder and CEO of PlateSpin, said, "PlateSpin's ability to manage workloads is unparalleled and is an essential part of making the data center truly respond to the needs of the business. Combined with ZENworks Orchestrator and virtualization from Novell, we are very excited about the synergies that this acquisition will give to customers."

Financial Overview

Novell will acquire PlateSpin for $205 million using current cash. The acquisition is expected to close during Novell's second fiscal quarter 2008 subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions. Novell will provide an update on the financial impact of the transaction during Novell's first fiscal quarter 2008 earnings call scheduled for Thursday, Feb., 28, at 5 p.m. EST. PlateSpin will be integrated into Novell's Systems and Resource Management business unit. As part of this business unit, PlateSpin will continue to develop and market its solutions to a global customer base. This will be done through the continued operation of PlateSpin's Toronto facility as well as through a combination of PlateSpin and Novell® offices and facilities around the globe.

Partner Support

"Citrix has a great relationship with PlateSpin and is excited to see them become part of Novell’s open data center management portfolio. With this addition, Novell will be able to offer an even richer set of tools to manage strategic virtual infrastructure systems like Citrix XenServer across a heterogeneous data center," said Peter Levine, senior vice president and general manager, Virtualization & Management Division, Citrix Systems. "In a world where applications are the language of business, our vision is to help customers become fluent in application delivery. Working closely with cross-platform management partners like PlateSpin and Novell helps customers realize this vision faster by ensuring that all Citrix Delivery Center products work well with each customer’s unique environment."

"As IT managers look to maximize their enterprise resources and have increased flexibility, they need tools to help them interoperate between Windows and Linux," said Larry Orecklin, general manager of marketing in the Server & Tools Division at Microsoft. "The combination of PlateSpin's capabilities in P2V, V2V and analytical tools, combined with Novell and Microsoft's interoperable virtualization will allow customers to cross the boundaries of the physical and virtual environments with confidence."

"Helping customers efficiently deal with server sprawl to achieve a real-time infrastructure using technologies like open source and virtualization is key to our business," said Rich Marcello, president, Systems & Technology at Unisys. "Unisys services and solutions expertise combined with Novell's technology is a fundamental underpinning to creating a real-time infrastructure."

Press Conference Call Notification

Novell will host a press conference call to discuss the acquisition at 11 a.m. EST on Monday, Feb., 25. Dial-in access for the call is: US/Canada (866) 335-5255; International (706) 679-2263; password "Novell." A live Webcast of the call will also be available at www.novell.com/pressconference.

Legal Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes statements that are not historical in nature and that may be characterized as "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, including those related to future financial and operating results, future opportunities, the benefits and synergies of the company's brands, strategies and acquisitions, and the growth of the market for Systems and Resource Management, Identity and Access Management, and Linux Platform Products. You should be aware that Novell's actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations of Novell management and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, Novell's completion of announced acquisitions, Novell's ability to transform its business through the implementation of its strategic plan, Novell's ability to realize the benefits anticipated from the Microsoft transaction and other transactions, Novell's ability to realize the benefits anticipated from its restructuring plan, and the expected charges to be incurred and payments to be made under the restructuring plan, Novell's ability to achieve its expense targets, Novell's success in executing its Linux Platform Products, Identity and Access Management, and Systems and Resource Management strategies, Novell's ability to take a competitive position in the Linux Platform Products, Identity and Access Management, and Systems and Resource Management industries, business conditions and the general economy, market opportunities, potential new business strategies, competitive factors, sales and marketing execution, shifts in technologies or market demand, Novell's ability to integrate acquired operations and employees, and the other factors described in Novell's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 21, 2007. Novell disclaims any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release except as required by the securities laws.
About PlateSpin

Founded in 2003, PlateSpin Ltd. provides a unified suite of solutions to help enterprises adopt, manage and extend their use of server virtualization in the data center. PlateSpin's patent-pending conversion and optimization technology liberates software from hardware platforms, allowing servers to be streamed over the enterprise network from any source to any destination. This freedom of movement ensures the best fit between server resource supply and application workload demands. Global 2000 companies use PlateSpin solutions to lower costs and solve today's most pressing data center initiatives such as server consolidation, disaster recovery and hardware migration. For more information, visit www.platespin.com/novell.

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers infrastructure software for the Open Enterprise. Novell is a leader in desktop to data center operating systems based on Linux and the software required to secure and manage mixed IT environments. Novell helps customers around the world minimize cost, complexity and risk, allowing them to focus on innovation and growth. For more information, visit www.novell.com.

Novell, SUSE and ZENworks are registered trademarks of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. *Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Press Contacts

Ian Bruce
Novell, Inc.
Telephone: +1 781 464-8034
Email: ibruce@novell.com



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