SUSE Dumps OpenStack

Open source vendor SUSE is getting out of the OpenStack business, the company says.

The decision is part of a shift in company strategy from infrastructure enablement to enabling application delivery, the company said in a blog post announcing the decision Wednesday.

The blog post quotes IDC analyst Al Gillen, who says "applications and experiences, rather than … infrastructure deployments," are key to differentiation. SUSE's decision "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," Gillen says.

SUSE is focusing itself on cloud-native and container technologies for application delivery, Kubernetes and DevOps, the company says. Specifically, it's putting its resources behind its Cloud Application Platform, based on Cloud Foundry, as well as SUSE CaaS Platform, for Kubernetes container management (a.k.a. "containers as a service").

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The decision comes less than three months after SUSE named a new CEO: Melssa Di Donato, previously SAP COO and chief revenue officer. Di Donato replaced Nils Brauckmann, who was scheduled to retire in August, after eight years at SUSE, including three in the top job.

German-based SUSE is now billing itself as the largest independent open source software company, following the acquisition of Red Hat by IBM.

SUSE says it will continue working with affected OpenStack customers and partners to support them through their remaining subscription period and as they transition to alternatives.

If SUSE's OpenStack customers are crying at SUSE abandoning them, Mirantis is there to dry their tears. "Mirantis stands ready to help support the transition of any customer who continues to value the business benefits of OpenStack," says Boris Renski, Mirantis chief marketing officer, in an email. Mirantis has hundreds of OpenStack customers with 25,000 physical nodes.

SUSE acquired the Hewlett Packard Enterprise platform assets, including HPE's OpenStack business, in 2017. SUSE itself sold for $2.5 billion last year, changing hands from Micro Focus to private investors EQT VII

Why this matters
OpenStack has had a checkered history. Founded in 2010 as a joint operation between Rackspace Hosting and NASA, the project was seen as an open source alternative to Amazon Web Services. It failed to be the AWS-killer initial advocates hoped for, but it's found a healthy niche among companies willing to invest in the high maintenance required for OpenStack deployments to achieve the performance and control benefits the software provides.

Network functions virtualization (NFV) is a key application for OpenStack, and the exiting of SUSE from the business leaves telcos with a dwindling field of vendor alternatives for OpenStack. Leading OpenStack vendors still standing include the aforementioned Mirantis and Red Hat, as well as VMware.

Additionally, OpenStack individual components, such as Ironic for bare metal provisioning, are thriving.

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James_B_Crawshaw 10/11/2019 | 3:54:19 AM
Leading OpenStack vendors still standing Canonical is another worth mentioning
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