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August 3, 2012

SUSE Gains Traction with Cloud Providers

Robert Gelber

Earlier this week, Linux distributor SUSE announced that more than 20 major vendors are participating in its cloud provider program. Big names like Amazon, Dell, IBM, and most recently, Windows Azure have opted to use SUSE’s cloud offerings. While there may be debates regarding which API, infrastructure, or platform is best suited for various applications, SUSE is continuing to gain exposure among cloud providers.

The cloud provider program enables SUSE customers to run SUSE Linux Enterprise Server using a pay-as-you-go model. Beyond the operating system, the group offers a toolset aimed at simplifying the tasks of cloud service deployment and workload management. For example, the SUSE studio application enables users to build optimized images of the SUSE Linux Enterprise operating system and application workloads. Members of the cloud provider program also have the option of repackaging SUSE studio and offering it to their end users.

Other benefits of partnership include SUSE Enterprise Linux Desktop, LibreOffice and SUSE support services. While solid pricing models were not available on the their website, potential clients can obtain this information by emailing one of the distributor’s cloud provider specialists. Most of the pricing is based on per-instance or per-use-time and partners can opt for hourly, monthly, or annual rates.

“The licensing model for the SUSE Linux Enterprise product portfolio and tools such as SUSE Studio are tailored to fit the cloud business model so providers can easily deliver customized Linux cloud services with enterprise-class service level agreements,” said Doug Jarvis, cloud solutions marketing manager at SUSE.

The group focuses on giving “maximum flexibility” to the enterprise user and claim they have the highest compatibility of any Linux distribution. Over 9,200 applications from 1,800 independent vendors have been certified for use on their platform. This technique of accommodation may be the SUSE’s greatest advantage given the relatively early stages of cloud computing industry.

Michael Miller, vice president of global alliances at SUSE, will deliver a keynote speech at the first annual CloudOpen conference in San Diego later this month. Hosted by the Linux Foundation, the event is focused on encouraging collaboration and education toward the advancement of open cloud technologies. Miller will be discussing how service-oriented clouds are creating a bridge between IT and lines of business. What’s more, in a recent Linux Foundation Q&A, he disclosed that SUSE is strengthening its ties to OpenStack. They are already a Platinum member of the OpenStack Foundation, and now they’re getting ready to announce an OpenStack-based product.

According to Miller, “Enterprises need open standards and the industry working as a community to ensure that prior technology investments are not made obsolete and that new investments are future proof by a shift into the cloud.”