SUSE Acquires HPE OpenStack Cloud Technology and Talent

HPE sells its OpenStack cloud and Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service technologies to SUSE.

Linux vendor SUSE is acquiring OpenStack cloud and Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) technology and staff from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in a deal announced on November 30. Financial terms of the acquisition are not being publicly disclosed and the deal is set to close in the first quarter of 2017.

HPE's OpenStack technology and staff will help to expand SUSE's existing OpenStack cloud efforts, while the Cloud Foundry assets will provide SUSE with new capabilities that it did not previously offer.

"As part of the transaction, HPE will name SUSE as its preferred partner for Linux, OpenStack and PaaS," Michael Miller, President, Strategy, Alliances and Marketing at SUSE, told eWEEK.

In a statement, an HPE spokesperson noted that HPE will OEM SUSE OpenStack Cloud and SUSE Cloud Foundry PaaS solutions to continue delivering, supporting and offering professional services for Helion OpenStack and Helion Stackato PaaS solutions to customers.

Miller emphasized that SUSE is not acquiring the Helion brand or HPE's customers as part of the transaction. Additionally he added that the OEM arrangement with HPE is non-exclusive. As such, all of the technology and talent that SUSE is acquiring will be available to SUSE's direct sales force and partners.

"So all of our hardware and go-to-market partners will benefit from this acquisition," Miller said. "It's not limited to just an arrangement with HPE."

The HPE deal with SUSE is not directly tied to the pending $8.8 billion spinoff and merger (spin-merge) of HPE's enterprise software businesses with Micro Focus, according to Miller. SUSE became part of Micro Focus in 2014, when Attachmate was acquired by Micro Focus in a $2.3 billion deal.

"This transaction between SUSE and HPE is completely unrelated to the spin-merge transaction between HPE and our parent company Micro Focus," Miller said. "The transaction that we're announcing allows us to accelerate our roadmap and product plans and we were really motivated to be able to close as quickly as possible."

Hewlett Packard overall has been investing in and building OpenStack technology since 2011 and has evolved its strategy multiple times in the years since then. In December 2013, HP announced its Cloud OS effort as the company's OpenStack platform. Cloud OS was then re-branded in May 2014 as Helion, along with a commitment to invest $1 billion in research and development for OpenStack technology.

The most recent upstream release of OpenStack debuted on October 6 with the Newton milestone. Miller explained that SUSE has an annual release cycle for its commercially supported OpenStack platform, with its next release scheduled for January.

"So our upcoming SUSE OpenStack 7 release will not be impacted by the HPE transaction," Miller said.

Looking forward, Miller said that the SUSE OpenStack Cloud 8 release will definitely benefit from HPE's technology. Additionally he noted that SUSE also has a continuous delivery approach where updates are delivered to customers between major releases.

"So there is potential for customers to see the benefits and impact of this transaction along the way," Miller said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.