SUSE Dropping OpenStack Cloud to Focus on Core Platforms
… focus more on application delivery for customers by shifting its investment toward cloud-native, container-based technologies such as function as a service, serverless and service mesh.
“It’s never easy to make a major change in product strategy like this, but it’s better to make a clean break and disclose plans to customers, rather than allow the product to wither gradually and obliquely,” said Iams. “The most important steps in this process will be for SUSE to provide clear guidance for its existing OpenStack customers to make a graceful transition to alternative solutions, and to quickly show how it will execute on its new cloud-native initiatives.”
Bill Weinberg, principal analyst with The Linux Pundit, said the move by SUSE to drop its OpenShift strategy is not a surprise.
“The OpenStack.org community has always been a noisy place with lots of jostling for visible leadership,” he said. “Over the past three years, technical contributions have remained strong from a few companies such as Red Hat, but there has been much consortium member attrition and fall-off in commitment level.”
Weinberg said he’s also not surprised that SUSE is dropping the OpenStack ball so casually.
“Their actual customer base is likely a size that they were able to reach out to on a one-to-one basis long before their public announcement,” he said.
Other factors in SUSE’s decision likely involved issues such as OpenStack’s mainstream position in the marketplace, which leaves it little technical or marketing cachet in terms of being involved with it or bundling it, said Weinberg. In addition, IBM’s recent acquisition of Red Hat has tilted the OpenStack-based private cloud market away from all but the best-funded players, leaving more of a challenge for SUSE, he said.
“SUSE qualifies in this regard but they’ve never in my opinion shown strong leadership in the consortium or in marketplaces outside of their European home court. In other words, OpenStack is a high-cost, low-return checkbox for SUSE.”
Another analyst, Rob Enderle of Enderle Group, however, sees SUSE’s dropping of OpenStack as a breach of trust with its customers that will be hard for the company to recover from.
“Typically you’d provide months if not years of notice before doing something like this suggesting the company has serious issues,” said Enderle. “This move is similar to concluding, on a lifeboat, that it’s time to draw straws for people to go for their last swim. You breach trust like this, and the firm may not recover because buyers begin to wonder what you’ll cut next, and your competitors [fear, uncertainty and doubt’] you into nonexistence.”
SUSE offers a wide range of open-source applications, operating systems and cloud computing platforms, including SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Cloud Application Platform, CaaS Platform and more.