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SUSE Dumps OpenStackSUSE Dumps OpenStack

The open source vendor is giving up its OpenStack business to focus on application delivery.

Mitch Wagner

October 10, 2019

3 Min Read
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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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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