SUSE acquires HPE's cloud assets

SUSE has become HPE's out-sourced cloud developer and its main Linux provider.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

HPE and SUSE, a top Linux distributor, have a complex relationship. First, HPE spun and merged its non-core software assets with Micro Focus. Micro Focus owns SUSE, a major Linux provider. Now, SUSE has finished acquiring cloud assets of HPE's OpenStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Stackato, HPE's Cloud Foundry implementation.

Two Clouds

SUSE will develop clouds while HPE will sell, support, and maintain them in their latest business deal.

Here's how it fits together. SUSE will use its new assets to expand its OpenStack program, speeding up the company's entry into Cloud Foundry's growing Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) market.

HPE describes this deal as a "strategic partnership with SUSE". HPE "will OEM SUSE OpenStack Cloud and the SUSE Cloud Foundry based PaaS solution as the foundation of the continued delivery of Helion OpenStack and Helion Stackato solutions with HPE support and professional services. By partnering with SUSE, HPE will provide best-in-class OpenStack and Cloud Foundry based PaaS solutions that are simple to deploy into customer's multi-cloud environments."

In other words, SUSE will hire HPE's programmers and do the cloud development work, while HPE will sell, deploy, and support the services. This is not an exclusive partnership. SUSE is free to find other partners and customers.

"The completion of this acquisition is one more important step in SUSE's ongoing growth and expansion strategy," said Nils Brauckmann, SUSE's CEO, in a statement. "We're excited to welcome the many new team members into our organization and incorporate these great technologies into our portfolio. Our customers and partners will immediately benefit from the increased depth, breadth, and value this brings to our enterprise-focused software-defined infrastructure solutions."

SUSE will integrate its acquired OpenStack assets into its SUSE OpenStack Cloud. The Cloud Foundry assets will be used to bring to market a certified, enterprise-ready SUSE Cloud Foundry PaaS solution.

In addition, HPE reconfirmed that SUSE is its preferred open-source partner for Linux, OpenStack IaaS, and Cloud Foundry PaaS. The two companies also have a non-exclusive agreement under which 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.

Does it seem to you that SUSE is well on its way to becoming a cloud business as well as a Linux company? You'd be right. Like Red Hat and Canonical, SUSE is moving more strongly than ever into the cloud. Unlike those two, however, it's doing it with a top computer partner in HPE.

As Michael Miller, SUSE's president of strategy, told me, "SUSE has evolved from our roots as an enterprise Linux distributor into a provider of open-source, software-defined infrastructure with the addition of mature OpenStack and Ceph-based storage solutions. This will be followed by SUSE-branded PaaS products and services.

Miller continued, "Linux and other open-source infrastructure technologies are the foundation on which the next generation of computing is being built. We believe in a holistic approach to enterprise infrastructure management and orchestration for on premise, cloud, and hybrid environments. We're leveraging technologies like Kubernetes and containers to provide flexible [cloud] deployment, management, and orchestration models aligned with ... the hybrid environments most enterprises will live in for many years to come."

In short, if HPE and SUSE have their way, Linux and the cloud will continue their move together into IT's future.

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