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October 9, 2019

SUSE Kills Off its OpenStack Distribution, as Kubernetes Eats Its Lunch

"A clear example of a operation-centric stack eaten alive bottom-up by a developer-centric one"

By CBR Staff Writer

If you’ve built your private cloud on SUSE’s OpenStack Cloud offering, you better start looking for alternatives: the German company says it is pulling the plug on the offering, just four months after pushing out SUSE OpenStack Cloud 9, its latest iteration of the “leading community-driven, open source, cloud infrastructure project”.

“SUSE has carefully reviewed its business and has decided to cease production of new versions of SUSE OpenStack Cloud and to discontinue sales of SUSE OpenStack Cloud” Suse president Michael Miller said on Tuesday, adding that the company would instead focus on “application delivery, Kubernetes and DevOps”.

The move comes 12 weeks into the tenure of new CEO, Melissa Di Donato, and a year after private equity firm EQT boughtt SUSE from Micro Focus for $2.5 billion.

See also: Micro Focus to Sell SUSE for £1.9 Billion

OpenStack is an opensource set of software tools for building and managing cloud computing platforms. It is widely used by companies to deploy private clouds, and lets businesses control large pools of compute, storage and networking. Widely offered on an as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) basis, there are numerous distributions and plenty of companies will be happy to take SUSE’s customers off its hands.

Describing “bold customer-driven investments” Miller added: “It goes without saying that we are working closely with all affected customers and partners to support them through their remaining subscription period and as they transition to alternatives.”

Alternatives include Canonical’s Charmed distribution, Platform9’s managed OpenStack, or Red Hat’s offering, among many other options.

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Boris Renski, co-founder/CMO of cloud computing services firm Mirantis said: “SUSE has long been a vital, resourceful ally in the OpenStack community and we will miss their contributions and leadership. Having been involved with OpenStack since its inception, and with 100’s of customers with 25,000 physical nodes running on our platform, Mirantis stands ready to help support the transition of any customer who continues to value the business benefits of OpenStack.”

Why’s Suse OpenStack Cloud Being Killed Off?

SUSE’s Miller cited Al Gillen from research house IDC in his announcement. Gillen noted: “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.”

CloudBees CEO Sacha Labourery told Computer Business Review: “The hard reality of public cloud and K8s (Kubernetes) is catching up with OpenStack’s complicated dream.

“Adoption of new infrastructure requires it to be powerful, simple enough to deploy and manage and, in this software era, offer a developer ecosystem.

“Kubernetes grew to have all three, while OpenStack’s only differentiation to K8s was its feature depth. ‘Was’, because this is not the case anymore. OpenStack is a clear example of a operation-centric stack eaten alive bottom-up by a developer-centric one.”

See also: 70 Applications, 15 Teams, 9 Months: Lessons from the Guardian’s “All-In” Move to AWS

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