Novell is buying out the partner of its Indian joint venture Onward Novell Software for an undisclosed sum.

The networking company referred to the 50 percent stakeholder simply as "a local Indian partner" and said the purchase reflected its commitment to Linux. "As a result [of the buy], Novell will be able to better serve its Indian customers, while simultaneously enhancing its existing development and technical support operations in the region," the company said.

Novell has operated in India since 1992 as Onward Novell Software. Novell, like a number of other multi-national technology companies, set up joint ventures in India in the late 1980s and early 1990s, both to meet Indian government regulations, and because the Indian partner offered better access and knowledge of the local market.

One analyst explained the purchase: "In India, Linux and open source are increasingly permeating applications such as mail messaging, file and print, and web hosting. Identity and access management solutions are also getting increased traction in the IT services and BPO sector in India due to privacy and compliance issues," said Praveen Sengar, software and services analyst with IDC India. "Hence, Novell's decision to take direct control of its business in India should enable it to have more focus on the Indian market and to deliver Linux and identity and access management solutions more effectively."