Thursday, 10 October 2019 11:18

Open source vendor SUSE gives OpenStack the boot

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Open source vendor SUSE gives OpenStack the boot Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Germany-based open source vendor SUSE has decided to drop its OpenStack Cloud distribution and instead focus on application delivery.

The announcement was made on Wednesday by the company's president of corporate development and strategic alliances, Michael Miller, and means that the emphasis will now be on Kubernetes and DevOps.

It comes just 10 days after SUSE product and solutions marketing manager for Cloud Solutions, Matthew Johns, penned a post about upgrading OpenStack.

In July, SUSE appointed a new chief executive, with Melissa Di Donato taking over from Nils Brauckmann who led the company for eight years after it was bought by Attachmate in 2010.

Miller did not offer any reasons for the change, apart from saying that the "customer-fixated culture" had led to a focus on "the growing importance of cloud native and container technologies to meet current and future customer needs and align with technology trends around application delivery, Kubernetes and DevOps."

SUSE has been a big supporter of OpenStack right from the start and whether it will cease to back the development of the software remains to be seen. A company spokesperson told iTWire: "We will continue to work closely with the OpenStack Foundation as we adjust the nature of our engagement in the project to align with our go-forward plans.

"SUSE engineers will continue to be involved in upstream OpenStack development as we focus on supporting our valued customers. In addition, SUSE will continue to evaluate and engage, where appropriate, in specific OSF projects besides OpenStack when they align with our customers’ and partners’ needs."

Miller said: "This decision clearly aligns with developments in the market, as summarised by Al Gillen, GVP, Software Development and Open Source, IDC: 'Digitally determined customers work to achieve differentiation with applications and experiences, rather than through infrastructure deployments'.

"SUSE’s decision to focus its future investments to better enable application delivery moves the company’s value-add higher up the technology stack, to a level where customers want and need tools that empower them to achieve differentiation.”

The company behind the oldest Linux distribution, SUSE was first bought by Novell in 2003. It was then acquired by Attachmate in 2010 and taken private, when the company bought Novell.

In 2014, Micro Focus acquired SUSE from Attachmate along with the other properties that were part of Novell. The amount that Micro Focus earned from the SUSE sale — US$2.535 billion — was more than what it paid for Attachmate as a whole – US$2.35 billion.

In July 2018, SUSE was acquired by its fourth and current owner — Swedish growth investor EQT — and the sale was closed in March this year.

iTWire contacted SUSE for a more detailed explanation of the company's decision. In response, a company spokesperson said: "SUSE is aligning our strategy to meet the current and future needs of our enterprise customers as they move to increasingly dynamic hybrid and multi-cloud application landscapes and DevOps processes.

"We will continue to focus our strategy on a combination of organic and inorganic investment and engineering in the
application delivery area, specifically with solutions including SUSE Cloud Application Platform and SUSE CaaS Platform and related go-to-market activities.

"In addition to increased focus and strategic investment in the application delivery market, SUSE will maintain and grow its commitment to delivering the best enterprise Linux in the industry along with best-in-class software-defined storage based on the Ceph open source project."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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