This is a guest post from Larry Dignan of TechRepublic’s sister site ZDNet. You can follow Larry on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Novell and VMware said Tuesday that they are collaborating so independent software vendors can build SUSE Linux Enterprise virtual appliances. The two companies will also develop VMware-ready appliances on SUSE Linux.

In a statement, the companies said:

With VMware Studio, ISVs can use VMware-based tools to build an appliance optimized for the VMware ESX platform. VMware Studio complements Novell’s own SUSE Studio, which will enable ISVs to build appliances powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise and optimized for multiple platforms, including VMware ESX.

The game plan is to offer out-of-the-box virtual appliances.

The Novell-VMware tie-up is interesting in the context of the various “frenemy” combinations in the virtualization industry. Novell and VMware added:

Novell also announced today a broad collaboration agreement with VMware to deliver SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as a fully supported and optimized guest operating system running on VMware ESX, the industry-leading hypervisor. The two companies have signed a cooperative support agreement that enables Novell to provide enhanced support for customers running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as a guest on VMware ESX. In addition to Novell’s customary virtualization-friendly subscription model, Novell is offering a limited time pricing promotion that gives an additional financial incentive to customers seeking to benefit from the companies’ collaboration.

Also see: VMware demos cloud OS; Touts private cloud computing