SUSE Studio 1.2 ships, SUSE Linux chief to roll out full cloud strategy soon

New SUSE President Nils Brauckmann planning to unveil full cloud strategy, Linux providers ships first piece of that, Studio 1.2, today
Written by Paula Rooney, Contributor

The newly independent SUSE Linux unit unveiled the first leg of its cloud platform today: SUSE Studio Version 1.2.

The development platform, which has been on the market for two years, helps SUSE Linux customers build, update and manage applications. Version 1.2 allows customers to better build, update and manage applications across physical, virtual and cloud environments including public clouds as well as x86 and System Z mainframe systems.

In a recent interview, SUSE's new chief, a 20-year Attachmate and Novell vet, said he is preparing to roll out a full-fledged cloud strategy for the No 2 Linux distribution, even as his on-the-job training continues. Top Linux distributor Red Hat has unveiled a comprehensive cloud strategy in recent months.

Nils Brauckmann, the Germany-based president and general manager of Attachmate's SUSE Business Unit, acknowledges he is a novice to the workings of the open source world but he's adamant that his aim is to form closer ties to the OpenSUSE community even as it maintains a vendor-agnostic approach to interoperatibility and the cloud. That means continued support for the Microsoft relationship and support for both the Xen and KVM hypervisors.

What's different about SUSE under Attachmate's direction? Brauckmann said there is more of a focus on the core Linux business and the now independent unit has its own presales engineering and consulting resources that are independent of Novell.

Also, SUSE will work more closely with open source projects to address security, configuration management and other needs, rather than exclusive proprietary solutions from Novell.

"I am on a steep learning curve and our relationship with the open source community and especially the openSUSE community is evolving. [Some have been] anxious about what the new ownership would do with the relationship to the community and we're still at a very early stage ... but we know to achieve quality assurance that a relationship is mutually beneficial to both sides. Our intention is not to break it but to improve it," said Brauckmann of the unit's relationship to the community. Brauckmann said he is now using a Linux desktop and LibreOffice.

"The initial proof is our announcement to continue to fund the OpenSUSE community with budget and people. We announced we'll work closely with the community by encouraging development teams to contibute to OpenSUSE."

SUSE also plans a serious response to Red Hat's cloud initiative, Brauckmann said several weeks ago in a telephone interview.  SUSE Studio 1.2 appears to be the first piece of that platform, but others will follow soon, the Linux president said.

"We have a perfect guest strategy and we'll continue to leverage KVM and Xen. Our approach to virtualization may be something we have to do a better ... step up our solutions and messaging about what SUSE want to offer in the cloud's future," said Brauckmann. "We have SLES itself and SUSE Manager and appliance toolkits are cloud ready. There are pieces missing but we're doing a top down review of our product and marketing strategy and in the next 60 to 90 days we'll tell you where we want to be around cloud provisioning and cloud management."

Many others have already unveiled their cloud strategies but SUSE -- like Red Hat -- have a natural advantage, he contends. "I still think the cloud is an all Linux business ... it's the operating system for the cloud,"  he said. "Linux is the preferred platform for the cloud platform."

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