SUSE worked two years on the version channel partners can now offer with full support and service to customers.

Todd R. Weiss

November 6, 2019

5 Min Read

For two years open source vendor SUSE has been working to build versions of its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications operating systems for inclusion and easier deployment from the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

Those efforts have now been completed and both products are now available through OCI to channel partners and their customers to make it easier for companies to run the SUSE operating systems on Oracle cloud with far less custom configuring and intervention.


SUSE’s David Landry

Neither SUSE operating system was previously available through OCI, which meant that customers and partners that wanted to run SUSE on Oracle often had a lot of work to do to make it happen, David Landry, director of technology partners at SUSE, told Channel Futures.

“This is enabling an existing product base” for both companies, he said, “It gives them the ability to take their workloads that run on SLES and now run them on the Oracle cloud. They can now run it in a hybrid environment on Oracle hybrid cloud, on virtual machines or on bare metal through the Oracle cloud.”

SUSE and Oracle had been receiving requests for these capabilities from customers and partners for a while and have been trying to get it done for some time, Landy said. “Customers came in with their workloads to test it.”

Customers will now be able to use the products together with confirmation that they work well as a package and include full support from SUSE, he said.

“It is that support, OCI compatibility and ability to be able to move those workloads among different platforms that customers will be able to have now,” said Landry. “What’s new here is the supported availability of the bits on the OCI model.”

For channel partners, the new offerings provide open source approaches to help them best serve their customers, he said. “SUSE more than any other open source software company has a strong pull-off-the-covers approach for its code. This is an enterprise supported, SUSE supported offering.”

The launches of SLES and SLES for SAP images are the company’s first supported offerings with OCI. Previously they were available only as unsupported evaluation versions. Those review versions allowed SUSE to test the market and learn that there was customer and partner interest in the products.

Both products are available immediately through the OCI marketplace.

Also announced was that Oracle has become a member of the SUSE Partner Program for Cloud Service Providers, which will create additional abilities to sell and support SUSE products on Oracle for channel partners, said Landry. “It gives the channel more options to sell to customers who are looking for different places to land their workloads,” while also giving the channel more sales tools.

“We are peer members of each other’s partner networks,” he said. “We do work closely. They are a top partner of SUSE.”

Two IT analysts told Channel Futures that the SUSE Oracle partnership will add useful cloud computing capabilities for channel partners and…

…their customers.


IDC’s Ashish Nadkarni

“What Oracle has realized is that in order for them to really grow their business, they cannot just have that Oracle on Oracle mind frame,” said Ashish Nadkarni of IDC. “It’s no longer feasible for them to support their products only on Oracle  Enterprise Linux.”

For enterprises, the more certified products that Oracle has to offer, the more useful they will be to customers and partners, said Nadkarni. “Really it comes down to them being more democratic about their cloud business. This will make it more appealing for the channel because now they don’t have to shove a square peg into a round hole.”


Pund-IT’s Charles King

Another analyst, Charles King of Pund-IT, said that as businesses begin shifting more data and workloads to multiple cloud services, including Oracle, that many will require help in planning and implementing those efforts.

“That could or should benefit channel partners with strong multi-cloud skills,” said King. “SUSE’s involvement places an open source spin on things but I can also imagine the company and Oracle formulating strategies targeting IBM and RedHat.”

Nadkarni of IDC said that Oracle becoming a member of the SUSE Partner Program for Cloud Service Providers will be good for channel partners.

“It makes it easier for Oracle to service and support Oracle or non-Oracle applications on somebody else’s Linux,” said Nadkarni. “All around it’s a win-win for the channel, and it’s a win-win for enterprises.”

King wasn’t as certain about the partner impacts of the deal. The deepened relationship could create new business opportunities for SUSE partners, but the growth of Oracle’s internal services offerings could put a crimp on those opportunities as well.

“Oracle is actively growing its own services business in ways that sometimes impact channel partners,” said King. “Partners that are nimble at spotting and preparing unique business offerings should do OK, but it would be a mistake to assume that this alliance will naturally result in new channel opportunities.”

About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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