SUSE Developers to Expand Product Line of OpenStack & Kubernetes Cloud Services
Fallout from the HP-Autonomy deal in 2011 continues as SUSE Linux announced this month that it had secured independence from Micro Focus in a $2.535 billion USD buy-out deal negotiated with the Swedish private equity firm EQT. Under terms of the agreement, Micro Focus (who acquired SUSE as part of a merger in 2014 with the Attachmate Group) will transfer the business assets of SUSE to a new holding company (Blitz 18-679 GmbH) wholly-owned by EQTVIII SCSp (EQT).
SUSE (an acronym for "Software und System Entwicklung") is one of the oldest and most highly respected of the enterprise Linux development companies, founded in 1992 by Roland Dyroff, Burchard Steinbild, Hubert Mantel and Thomas Fehr, with headquarters currently in Nuremberg, Germany. The SUSE Linux Enterprise distro managed by the company under licensing agreements competes with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Ubuntu, & CentOS primarily in the web server market sector. SUSE Linux has recently launched new OpenStack Cloud (IaaS/PaaS) and Kubernetes Container-as-a-Service (CaaS) product lines to provide customized open source software solutions to business organizations around the world. Commenting on the deal, SUSE CEO Nils Brauckmann stated, “By partnering with EQT, we will become a fully independent business... Together with EQT we will benefit both from further investment opportunities and having the continuity of a leadership team focused on securing long-term profitable growth combined with a sharp focus on customer and partner success.”
SUSE Linux: Corporate History and Fallout from the HP-Autonomy Deal in 2011
SUSE currently manages two main Linux distros, SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 and openSUSE. The enterprise distro is their flagship product, designed for stability, security, and the ability to be customized for the data center needs of large corporations, while the free version is community supported with the Tumbleweed and Leap versions designed primarily for use on desktop computers. SUSE Enterprise Linux is available in various packaged distributions designed specifically for workstations, virtual machines (VMs), ARM devices, volume storage applications, and high performance computing. The company also offers a desktop version of the OS for corporations, government agencies, and other complex organizations to use. There are SUSE Enterprise Linux distros available specifically for deployment with VMware, Amazon EC2, and Microsoft Azure. The company has major partnerships with HPE, SAP, IBM, Cisco, Dell, Lenovo, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Huawei, & SuperMicro in their client base. In 2017, SUSE reported annual sales of $320 million from their software products, consulting, and other services, with around 1400 employees on staff. The openSUSE distro was launched after the company's initial acquisition by Novell in 2003. The Attachmate Group acquired Novell in 2010, when it was a publicly traded company, in a $2.2 billion USD deal backed by Microsoft, including SUSE Linux as a stand-alone division. In 2014, Attachmate was bought by Micro Focus for $2.35 billion USD, where SUSE Linux then acquired some new assets from HPE Software in 2016 as part of a major corporate merger following the Autonomy deal writedown. Micro Focus paid around $8.8 billion USD for the HPE Software division, while SUSE then went on to acquire additional programming talent and OpenStack + Cloud Foundry software code from HPE in another partnership deal in 2017. All of this culminates with SUSE regaining independence from Micro Focus in 2018 with the buyout by EQT through a new shell company.
Linux And Ubuntu: SUSE Is Sold To EQT For $2.5 Billion
It's not likely the acquisition of SUSE by EQT will result in any major changes at SUSE. The company had largely been operating as a separate unit at Micro Focus with its own strategic direction. SUSE was largely operating as a separate unit at Attachmate as well, a change from when the company was owned by Novell, which took a more hands-on approach to direct the Linux company's strategy. Current SUSE CEO Nils Brauckmann will continue to lead the company after the EQT acquisition is completed. SUSE is also remaining committed to its core open-source model, which enables enterprises to build and deploy software-defined infrastructure.
SUSE Linux & Hewlett-Packard Enterprise: Helion, Stackato, & Cloud Foundry Tools
One of the major announcements from SUSE Linux in 2017 was the news of their partnership with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) in developing cloud PaaS solutions. In 2015, HP bought Stackato from ActiveState in order to improve the services of their Helion OpenStack platform. As part of the HPE Software + Micro Focus merger in 2016, "Micro Focus and HPE announced their intent to enter into a commercial partnership naming SUSE as HPE’s preferred Linux partner as well as exploring additional collaboration leveraging SUSE’s OpenStack expertise for joint innovation around HPE’s Helion OpenStack and Stackato Platform-as-a-Service solutions." Following this, HPE established SUSE as "a preferred open source partner for Linux, OpenStack IaaS and Cloud Foundry PaaS," where the companies agreed that "HPE may OEM SUSE’s OpenStack IaaS and SUSE’s Cloud Foundry PaaS technology for use inside HPE’s Helion OpenStack and Helion Stackato solutions." Along with this, HPE avoided layoffs for some of their key software development and programming talent by transferring their services to SUSE. Although HPE is still floundering after their bungled Autonomy acquisition and continued corporate mismanagement, SUSE has arguably benefited significantly from their partnership with the company which further solidifies their leadership position in enterprise Linux solutions. A major aspect of SUSE's business operations involves consulting, customer service, training, certifications, and programming solutions for Fortune 500 clients worldwide.
The SUSE Linux Container as a Service (CaaS) Platform
SUSE CaaS Platform:
SUSE CaaS Platform is an enterprise class container management solution that enables IT and DevOps professionals to more easily deploy, manage, and scale container-based applications and services. It includes Kubernetes to automate lifecycle management of modern applications, and surrounding technologies that enrich Kubernetes and make the platform itself easy to operate. As a result, enterprises that use SUSE CaaS Platform can reduce application delivery cycle times and improve business agility.
SUSE Linux: OpenStack, Cloud Foundry, & Kubernetes Container Service Platforms
As we previously reported, SUSE has introduced a major suite of OpenStack, Kubernetes, & Cloud Foundry solutions allowing businesses to streamline their deployment of new cloud technologies in the data center. These solutions are of major importance to the web hosting industry as well as corporate enterprise, government agencies, NGOs, & education groups. As OpenStack & Kubernetes are both licensed under open source agreements, they can technically operate with many different operating systems interchangeably. SUSE Linux, like Red Hat & Ubuntu, sells customized distributions of their enterprise Linux server software that are pre-packaged with OpenStack and Kubernetes, allowing complex organizations to deploy the software to their data centers more quickly with a higher degree of security in operations. SUSE includes valuable customized utilities and integration tools to make the distributions work more efficiently in production. Additionally, enterprise groups can rely upon SUSE for customer service, staff training, consulting, & custom engineering of solutions, saving money on overall costs and guaranteeing that experienced experts will be available for the work. Integration with major public cloud service providers like AWS, Azure, & Cloud Foundry, as well as tested virtualization solutions at scale with VMware, has been an important aspect of SUSE remaining at the top of the Linux server market and earning valuable Fortune 500 contracts for revenue.
The SUSE Linux Container as a Service (CaaS) Platform & OpenStack Cloud 7
The SUSE CaaS Platform works on both bare metal in private data centers as well as on all major public cloud service providers. It can also be used under KVM, Xen, VMware vSphere/ESXi, & Microsoft HyperV virtualization standards. Some of the main features of the SUSE CaaS Platform are:
- "Application ecosystem support with SUSE Linux container base images, and access to tools and services offered by SUSE Ready for CaaS Platform partners and the Kubernetes community."
- "Enhanced datacenter integration features that enable you to plug Kubernetes into new or existing infrastructure, systems, and processes."
- "A complete container execution environment, including a purpose-built container host operating system, container runtime, and container image registries."
- "End-to-End security, implemented holistically across the full stack."
- "Advanced platform management that simplifies platform installation, configuration, re-configuration, monitoring, maintenance, updates, and recovery."
- "Enterprise hardening including comprehensive interoperability testing, support for thousands of platforms, and world-class platform maintenance and technical support."
- Learn More About the SUSE CaaS Platform & OpenStack Cloud.
SUSE Enters Aggressive Stage of Corporate Management to Stay Competitive with RHEL
Although the SUSE deal with EQT will not necessarily mean any major changes for customers, it could signal a new stage of aggressive business management strategies for the company. In 2016, SUSE made their first corporate acquisition of another software firm since the company's original founding in 1992 with the take-over of IT-Novum in Germany. The deal transferred the codebase of the OpenATTIC project to SUSE, a Ceph-based storage management utility for Linux. This move followed Red Hat's acquisition of Inktank, the developers of Ceph, in 2014. On the other hand, Reuters reported that Micro Focus is still "struggling" to recover costs and profitability following their $8.8 billion takeover of HPE Software. SUSE continues to forge strategic alliances and partnerships with some of the most advanced and innovative businesses in IT today. Because of the rapidly changing and continuingly evolving nature of cloud software development, SUSE could be poised to make more deals and acquisitions of Linux technology to keep their stack solutions updated now that they are independent. Follow @SUSE on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest developments and breaking news from the company.