BakBone SoftwareT (TSX: BKB; PK: BKBO), a global provider of data protection software, today announced it has been named the Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL) PartnerNet ISV (independent software vendor) of the year. BakBone earned the top ranking ISV award in both technical and market reach criteria, building on BakBone's existing recognition in the Linux space.

As the fastest-growing operating system in the world, projected Linux operating environment revenue is expected to increase by an average of 20.2 percent per year between 2004 and 2008 according to IDC's "Worldwide Operating Environments 2004-2008 Forecast". To meet this growth, BakBone and Novell continue to provide Linux solutions that reduce operational IT costs and complexity of storage environments.

"As Linux continues to move into the data tier, partners such as BakBone have become critical in enabling our customers and value added solution providers to deploy Linux with confidence," said Hal Bennett, vice president of business development, Novell. "Recognising BakBone with the PartnerNet ISV of the year award is a testament to the Company's commitment to SUSE LINUX, Open Enterprise Server and NetWare. Ultimately the BakBone-Novell combination allows our mutual channel partners and enterprise customers to safeguard their business critical data with compelling TCO."

"Winning the Novell PartnerNet ISV of the year award validates what customers and partners are already expressing, which is a combined BakBone-Novell solution affords them increased cost savings, flexibility and choice when looking to deploy Linux in the enterprise," said Andrew Bowles, director worldwide OEM and alliance group, BakBone. "We're proud to be recognised by Novell as the PartnerNet ISV of the year and we are committed to delivering best-in-class solutions and service, with new and innovative technologies to help our customers more efficiently protect and manage their data assets."

With over six years of support for SUSE LINUX, BakBone received the Novell PartnerNet ISV award for the Company's technology leadership across multiple Novell platforms, as well as BakBone's global reach and market share in Linux-based data protection, particularly in the Pacific Rim. In August 2004, BakBone announced first-to-market support for Novell SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server version 9 and in February 2005, announced its commitment to support Open Enterprise Server (OES). Utilising SUSE LINUX as a base development platform for BakBone's core product NetVault, BakBone also leverages SUSE LINUX for joint industry initiatives such as IBM Linux on Power and in offering first-to-market support for Linux on Intel EM64T, Itanium 2, and AMD Opteron.

By teaming to accelerate adoption of Linux in enterprise data centres through joint collaboration as part of Open Source Development Lab's Data Center Linux initiative, as well as through certification and development programs such as BakBone's Linux Advantage initiative, the
companies are actively working with OEM and strategic partners including Network Appliance, IBM, Fujitsu and Intel to ensure the reliability, availability and serviceability of enterprise Linux deployments.

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