HPE & Micro Focus Launch Enterprise OpenStack & Kubernetes CaaS on SUSE Linux
SUSE Linux announced the release of their Kubernetes “Container as a Service” (CaaS) platform based on SUSE MicroOS at the LinuxCon (Beijing) in June of 2017. The SUSE CaaS Platform combines with the SUSE OpenStack 7 distribution to provide complete cloud data center management solutions for enterprise corporations, government agencies, higher education, & non-profit groups. SUSE Linux is one of the oldest and most trusted enterprise Linux distributions with more than 25 years experience in open source development. The SUSE CaaS Platform & OpenStack 7 distro both represent the latest products from a new corporate entity that combines professional programming teams from Micro Focus, HPE, Autonomy, & the original “Software und System-Entwicklung” (SUSE) Linux company based in Germany.
One of the most interesting aspects of the SUSE CaaS announcement is that the HPE Helion cloud platform will be managed as a white label service by SUSE technicians and that SUSE is now the preferred or recommended Linux distro by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Following an $8.8 billion deal in 2016 between HP Enterprise (HPE), the spin-off of HPQ led by Meg Whitman, and Micro Focus (current owner of the Attachmate Group which had previously acquired Novell & SUSE), HPE will merge a combination of assets (mostly programming teams & business service units) from Autonomy, Mercury Interactive, & ArcSight to form a new company with Micro Focus. HPE will own 50.1% of the issued voting shares in the new organization and also receive around $2.5 billion in cash from Micro Focus in the deal. SUSE receives the majority of the big data, security, & IT management assets of Autonomy and the other IT verticals, although it should be noted that HP TeamSite, MediaBin, Explore Analytics, Aurasma, Qfiniti, and Optimost were all sold to OpenText in a separate deal worth ~$170 million. As these assets in total cost HP over $16 billion USD to purchase in different corporate acquisitions, the reorganization with SUSE via Micro Focus can be viewed as a major rebalancing of corporate IT with HP challenging the RHEL/IBM service models directly.
“SUSE CaaS Platform consists of three key components – orchestration using Kubernetes, a purpose-built operating system (SUSE MicroOS) for microservices and containers, and configuration capabilities.” Learn More about SUSE CaaS (Container as a Service) Platform.
Together the SUSE OpenStack 7 distribution and Kubernetes Container as a Service (CaaS) platform represent the major focus of enterprise IT data center management and consulting services being offered by many companies today. Containers make it easier to host and run services like cloud software and mobile applications through an isolated modular approach based on virtualization frameworks (container visors) that require significantly less hardware resources to deploy at scale than VMs/VPS. Containers can also reduce installation times in systems administration for web development teams by allowing for the integration of continuous delivery pipelines including version control for Agile/Scrum project management. The SUSE CaaS Platform includes a specialized container operating system (MicroOS) similar to Rancher, CoreOS, or Container Linux, as well as production-grade cloud orchestration utilities for elastic cluster web server management. Configuration & automation tools support the complete life cycle of software applications and allow companies to scale development more quickly, implementing advanced security monitoring for networks, as well as increasing the efficiency of DevOps teams through simplified microservice deployment.
Demo Video: Overview of SUSE CaaS Platform
SUSE CaaS (Container as a Service) Platform – “An application development and hosting platform for container-based applications and services. The solution is a valuable new piece of SUSE’s growing software-defined infrastructure portfolio, which integrates open source technology to drive next-generation innovations that matter to customers. SUSE CaaS Platform consists of three key components – orchestration using Kubernetes, a purpose-built operating system (SUSE MicroOS) for microservices & containers, and configuration capabilities.” Learn More about SUSE CaaS Platform.
Linux containers are enabling more efficient & economic solutions for businesses in the data center and Docker, rkt, LXC, etc. container use is accelerating in enterprise. Containers make it easier to support many different websites, mobile applications, & cloud SaaS solutions with isolated web server dependencies, runtime environments, and system resource allocation. Containers can offer huge savings in comparison to VMs or VPS partitions because they use a scaled down Linux operating system. Although Docker is very popular, it is not the only container platform. SUSE OpenStack 7 and CaaS Platform are designed to orchestrate cloud IT architecture through fully automated web server provisioning which includes synchronized, rolling security upgrades and repeatable deployments that reduce complexity for DevOps. SUSE OpenStack 7 & CaaS Platform offer better monitoring of network traffic with automated security scans and can support multiple Linux distributions on shared hardware, as well as the simultaneous use of different hypervisors or container images on the same web server. SUSE network management utilities harden web server infrastructure security with better validation procedures, scheduled operating system patching, & compliance verification for the financial industry.
“Containers as a Service is a model where IT organizations and developers can work together to build, ship and run their applications anywhere. CaaS enables an IT secured and managed application environment consisting of content and infrastructure, from which developers are able build and deploy applications in a self service manner.” Learn More about Containers as a Service (CaaS).
SUSE Product Manager Andreas Jaeger discussed the benefits of SUSE as a company joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and how this represents the firm’s vision for the future of the data center at the LinuxCon in Beijing (2017). There are currently around 12 different Kubernetes distributions with over 30 competing Kubernetes platforms in the enterprise services marketplace. SUSE OpenStack will transition to include greater platform support for Kubernetes in cloud orchestration for web servers with microservices. Currently the SUSE Container as a Service (CaaS) platform is based on the Magnum plugin for OpenStack & MicroOS. SUSE imported one of the world’s most experienced OpenStack development teams from HPE Helion in March of 2017, so the SUSE CaaS Platform release is being intended for enterprise support in deploying Kubernetes distributions at scale for major corporations through consulting services and custom programming solutions for the largest data centers in the world. SUSE teams will build on-premise cloud infrastructure from bare metal servers or public/hybrid cloud deployments on Azure, AWS, Google, etc. as required. Capgemini is one of the main clients for SUSE OpenStack solutions currently, who also use or resell the open source software as a foundation for their IT consultation services to enterprise clients.
Demo Video: Containers 101 – A SUSE Perspective
Enterprise Ready Container Solutions – “Containers provide an agile development environment to quickly and reliably deliver business applications across multiple cloud and non-cloud environments with the highly automated configuration and management of these complex architectures. The agile environment requires a platform that accommodates the dynamic needs of container applications. An operating system tuned for a variety of container technologies such as Linux containers (LXC), Docker open source software and Kubernetes is the starting point.” Learn More about Linux Containers & Virtualization.
“Project Kubic is a generic project for the many new initiatives related to re-designing the operating system around principles of immutable infrastructure and the usage of a stack based on Linux, docker project and Kubernetes. The primary building block of the Kubic Project is the Container Host OS based on openSUSE Tumbleweed.” Learn More about Project Kubic.
Two of the main projects that SUSE has under development in association with Docker, LXC, Kubernetes, & OpenStack are the Velum dashboard & Kubic. Velum runs Kubernetes nodes as Salt minions so that the Salt master build snapshot can be standardized across all web server node deployments in the container with isolated microservices. Terraform scripts can be used for custom Kubernetes deployment with pre-configured VM partitions for elastic web server cluster node architecture. Programmers and developers can follow the Tumbleweed project for the most stable current releases of OpenSUSE. For more information on SUSE OpenStack 7 & Kubernetes CaaS Platform, see the following slide presentations:
SUSE has also announced a partnership with SuperMicro for the web server hardware used in building their cloud data centers with OpenStack. The documentation for SUSE OpenStack 7 is available here. The latest release of the SUSE desktop Linux is openSUSE Leap 42.3.
Demo Video: Introduction to SUSE Manager
SUSE Manager for IT Operations & DevOps Teams – “Built for Linux, SUSE Manager delivers a best-in-class open source IT infrastructure management solution for your software–defined infrastructure. Designed to help your enterprise DevOps and IT Operations teams to reduce complexity and regain control of IT assets by enabling comprehensive management of your Linux systems, VMs and containers with a single, centralized solution. SUSE Manager includes the Salt open source software and provides automated and cost-effective software, asset, patch and configuration management, as well as, system provisioning, orchestration and monitoring capabilities.” Learn More about SUSE Manager.
Video: SUSE Joins the CNCF, Brings Kubernetes to OpenStack Cloud 7
The New Stack Makers with SUSE Product Manager Andreas Jaeger – “SUSE recently joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, having announced this at CloudNativeCon / KubeCon EU 2017. Jaeger notes in the conversation that SUSE believes Kubernetes is, “The way of the future,” that has led to SUSE offering a Kubernetes images based on Linux Enterprise Server in the SUSE OpenStack Cloud 7 package.” Learn More about SUSE OpenStack Cloud 7.