Suse does OpenStack with Suse Cloud 3

Suse's OpenStack attempts to quell long-standing deployment headaches, adds more hypervisor options than Red Hat

Like Linux before it, OpenStack is manifesting via different vendors, each a product of a different development philosophy and target market. Now, the creator of a major business-grade Linux -- not Red Hat, but Suse -- is revving its own edition of OpenStack.

Dubbed Suse Cloud 3, this distribution of the Havana edition of OpenStack supports two of the big new features rolled out for OpenStack this time around: its orchestration (Heat) and telemetry (Ceilometer) components.

It's more or less in line with what Red Hat offers with its OpenStack distribution, which is fast becoming the de facto version. Suse departs from Red Hat, though, in two major ways. Pete Chadwick, senior cloud solutions manager at Suse, explained that the differences focus on easing complexity: "We have always understood that the initial deployment and long-term operation of an OpenStack-controlled cluster is relatively complicated."

That's an understatement. Problems with OpenStack's complexity remain a major complaint, even after much of the work Red Hat's done to try and make OpenStack manageable.

Suse separated itself from the OpenStack pack by using the open source project Crowbar -- originally produced by Dell as a way to help it tame its own OpenStack deployments -- to create a powerful installation framework. Crowbar is itself built on top of Chef, which in turn sports multiple "cookbooks" for OpenStack; this isn't a case of Suse devising a wholly homebrew solution with no relationship to the rest of the OpenStack ecosystem.

The second way Suse stands apart from Red Hat is via, as Chadwick put it, "our long-standing partnerships with VMware and Microsoft," which allows Suse to "offer customers full support for mixed-hypervisor environments.... A customer with an existing VMware or Hyper-V cluster can control those servers with OpenStack while at the same time adding KVM or Xen for different workloads." Since Red Hat seems married to KVM as its hypervisor of choice (for RHEL-based workloads, anyway), this provides an additional degree of choice in the work environment.

Suse's partnership with VMware has also produced fruit in the form of VMware offering fully supported editions of Suse Linux Enterprise Server by way of the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service.

Back when Linux first started turning heads, companies like Red Hat and Suse packaged up the kernel and its userland utilities into useful bundles for businesses. Now the same's finally starting to happen with other open source projects of great breadth and scope -- not just OpenStack, but Hadoop too. The same names that tamed Linux may also end up taming those projects as well, and they'll go about it differently enough to be interesting.

This story, "Suse does OpenStack with Suse Cloud 3," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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