Many small businesses and the IT consultants who support them have deployed Linux in some way — hey, it can save a ton of cash! But typically Linux is doing a specific task — maybe a file/print server, web server, firewall, database, etc. The solutions have been done fairly piece-wise, and that can lead to a lack of integration – making things a bit more difficult to manage over time. Alternatively, one might have chosen the Microsoft Small Business product – but we all know where that can lead (security problems, constant patching, IT headaches, excessive software costs, etc.). There really hasn’t been a nicely integrated workgroup suite for small business based combining the best of open source and proprietary enterprise software… until now.

Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition has arrived. It works with either Windows or Linux desktops and includes “less expensive” (and arguably EASIER-to-LEARN) alternatives to Windows Vista and MS Office 2007. In addition to a nicely integrated installation, it has a ton of value for a very small price. It includes:

  • File/Print sharing and security – Open Enterprise Server for Linux
  • Laptop backup/file collaboration – iFolder
  • Email/Calendaring – GroupWise
  • End-user general purpose desktop – SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
  • MS Office-compatible office suite – OpenOffice.org, Novell Edition
  • Backup software – Amanda
  • Network faxing – HylaFAX
  • Anti-spam – MailScanner
  • Anti-virus for email – ClamAV
  • Firewall – iptables
  • VPN – OpenVPN
  • Remote control – TightVNC

… and all this stuff runs on Linux!  Yeah, but how does it compare to the Microsoft Small Business Suite? Look here.

All this for a retail cost of $350 for every 5-users!! Want more info? Check these out… product home page, audio podcast, press release, workgroup team blog

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