Dell Cloud and SUSE Linux: Is VMware Calling the Shots?
The new Dell Cloud Datacenter Service has embraced SUSE as its first Linux platform. The hidden twist: The Dell-SUSE announcement is likely built on the SUSE-VMware relationship, which seeks to counter Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.
Dell announced the so-called Dell Cloud with VMware vCloud Datacenter Service in August 2011. The Dell Cloud essentially offers customers Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The effort, Dell said, “runs in Dell datacenters and offers enterprise class, secure public, private and hybrid clouds and includes consulting, application and infrastructure services.”
Here Comes SUSE Linux
Fast forward to the present and Dell has publicly stated that SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is running in Dell’s cloud. But I believe VMware may have had a hand in the Dell announcement.
It’s no secret that VMware bid to potentially acquire SUSE in 2010, but Attachmate ultimately gained the Linux distribution as part of its Novell acquisition. VMware and SUSE have worked together on a range of efforts. And while VMware remains the virtualization industry’s dominant platform, Red Hat is hoping to disrupt the market with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV).
Bottom line: VMware likely sees a SUSE Linux relationship as an ideal way to offset potential Red Hat moves. And now, the VMware-SUSE relationship is gaining a foothold within Dell’s cloud — though Dell has a longstanding relationship with Red Hat.
SUSE’s Cloud Services Efforts
Meanwhile, SUSE is striving to promote itself as an increasingly popular Linux platform for cloud services providers. SUSE claims cloud efforts at Amazon Web Services, Fujitsu, IBM, Intel, 1&1, Tencent, SGI, Verizon and Vodacom Business all leverage or support SUSE.
Still, I suspect Red Hat — on track to become a $1 billion company in its current fiscal year — has a larger installed base than SUSE among cloud services providers. Plus, cloud computing giants like Rackspace say Ubuntu is the most popular Linux within today’s cloud environments.
All that aside, it’s good to see SUSE in the cloud game, potentially ensuring competition will drive Linux innovation.