Enterprise Linux Log

Nov 1 2011   2:24PM GMT

SUSE unveils OpenStack cloud solution, rips Red Hat

Nick Martin Nick Martin Profile: Nick Martin

Earlier this month SUSE became the latest company to jump on the OpenStack bandwagon, announcing it would release an early development version of its SUSE Cloud.  That bandwagon is starting to get crowded now, with heavyweights like Dell and Canonical having already thrown their support behind the open source cloud computing project.

SUSE says their SUSE Cloud will be the first fully configured OpenStack-powered appliance. But, SUSE is being clear that the free download offered today is a development release, and not an enterprise ready solution.

“We didn’t just want to say this is what we want to do, we wanted to show our customers and our partners that we have been doing some work in this area and we’re serious about it. [This version] is a proof of concept demonstration to prove that the technologies are viable,” said Kerry Kim, the director of solutions marketing at SUSE, in an interview last week.

A final version of SUSE Cloud is expected sometime in the next nine to 12 months, Kim said.

“We’ve been looking at the cloud computing space for a while, and evaluating and exploring different alternatives and technologies. As we saw increased momentum around the OpenStack project, and the group opening up the project to a community-based approach, we felt the combination of momentum and openness was in line with our philosophy around leveraging the open source development community,” Kim added.

All the support around OpenStack obviously bodes well for the cloud computing project’s stability and longevity. However, there will be at least one notable holdout among prominent open source companies. Red Hat, which could become the first $1 billon open source company, has decided to head in its own direction, instead rolling out its own Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a service offering in CloudForms and OpenShift.

The company’s decision to turn away from OpenStack has caused some head scratching, and maybe a little animosity from some open source supporters, though Red Hat has said its own efforts are more “open” than OpenStack.

Kim didn’t go into detail about how SUSE Cloud would be technologically different from Red Hat’s products, but he didn’t miss his opportunity to tout OpenStack’s support within the open source community, and rail on the competition.

“Red Hat is actually an interesting example. They’ve chosen not to support OpenStack,” Kim said. “That’s sort of puzzling to us. Maybe they have their own stakeholder pressures and they have to make money. I have a biased view, but maybe as their share has increased they feel like they are now synonymous with open source, or something, and they can dictate what the open source community should be doing. I actually don’t think they’re getting a whole lot of support for their virtualization and cloud platform. I think the rest of the world is like, ‘I don’t know why those Red Hat cats want to do it all by themselves, other than maybe they want to make all the money for themselves.’ Our strategy is very different. We want to make money too, but we want to do it in concert with our partners.”

What do you think? Will companies like SUSE ride the OpenStack bandwagon to success, or will Red Hat be able to distinguish its brand with a unique cloud offering?

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