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Just what is the Fossa Project?

I just canvassed some views from the IT hacks huddled away in the Brainshare press room. Asked the question, "what is Fossa?", here are the responses I got:

"Fossa is a noble attempt to demonstrate coherence in the Novell software portfolio." - Tom Sanders, Webwereld

"I know what Fossa is, but if I told you I'd have to kill you" - Emmet Ryan, ENN

"Fossa is a marketing ploy; more style than substance, at least at this point." - Peter Galli, eWeek

"They showed a beautiful picture of an animal I'd never heard of. That's it for me - it's a bit unclear what they want to do; what they want to change. They said they want to change the approach... oh, I don't know. Did you get it?" Pim Vanderbeek, Computable

"To me, it seemed like Jaffe was just explaining what the company does. I think it's just a marketing campaign." - Rafael Ruffolo, IT World Canada

"I will be interested to see whether they are actually going to use it as a byword for innovation, or whether it's just something that will come and go as a flavour of the month." - Nathan Eddy, ChannelWeb

"Hopefully it means a complete, open infrastructure for system maintenance, leveraging other infrastructural components." Niklas Andersson, TechWorld Open Source

10/10 for Niklas, I think - not because he's right (it's really hard to tell precisely what Fossa will turn out to be), but because he managed to cram an extraordinary number of buzzwords into his soundbite.

Your comments

Update: I spoke to a few

Update: I spoke to a few Novell people about Fossa; my best understanding of it at this time is "Novell's current offerings + technologies acquired through PlateSpin". In short, right now a Novell sysadmin can say "OK, I want to make Bob a senior sales manager", and on Bob's desktop will appear any programs required for that role, and he'll get access to any resources he needs.

With Fossa (as I understand it, having spoken to many people now), it's going to be possible to say "OK, Jim has just moved to IT" and his Windows virtual machine could be replaced with a Linux virtual machine with the same apps and resources. In essence, it seems to add virtualisation to Novell's current SRM offering. The central point remains identity: you need to know who everyone is and what they have access to, as well as what machines you have and what they are capable of.

If this is correct, then:

1) Users no longer need to care what OS they have, because any OS they have would give them the same access rights.


2) Sysadmins no longer need to care (much) what workload is on their servers, because the system would know what each server is capable of and would dynamically balance the workload.

If they are true, Fossa is something I'm starting to get excited about.

*lol* Thanks for my 10/10. I

*lol* Thanks for my 10/10. I had a hard time trying to explain to my spanish brother-in-law why I was suddenly lauging :-) got a s**t load of buzzwords.....perhaps I'm a natural Tech-exec? Or just plain brain washed!

Anyway - it was nice meeting you at Brainshare! See you around!

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