SUSE Cloud 3 Heats Up OpenStack Havana

The Linux vendor updates its OpenStack solution and embraces VMware environments for deployment.

Linux vendor SUSE today announced its SUSE Cloud 3 solution, providing users with the latest components from the OpenStack Havana release.

OpenStack is a multi-stakeholder open-source cloud platform effort that counts many of the world's leading IT vendors—including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Cisco—among its participants. The most recent OpenStack release, code-named "Havana," debuted in October 2013. SUSE's Linux rival Red Hat released its enterprise-supported version of OpenStack Havana in December 2013.

Doug Jarvis, Cloud Solutions marketing manager at SUSE, explained to eWEEK that his company does extensive quality assurance and security testing for each SUSE Cloud release. As well, SUSE tests its cloud product to make sure it can integrate with partner solutions, such as those from Cisco, EMC and VMware.

"Our intention is to continue to closely follow the upstream OpenStack releases while ensuring the stability and enterprise readiness of SUSE Cloud," Jarvis said.

Vendors in the OpenStack cloud market typically use various installation technologies to actually get a cloud up and running. SUSE uses the open-source Crowbar project, which was originally started by Dell. SUSE is the No. 1 contributor to the Crowbar project, according to Jarvis, who added that the SUSE Cloud Administration Server, which is based on Crowbar, includes support for the automated installation of multiple hypervisors.

"SUSE also has worked on the scalability and stability of the solution, while also improving the user experience through a new graphical user interface," he said. "It is important to note that all of these enhancements to the SUSE Cloud Administration Server we have contributed back to the Crowbar project."

SUSE already has users on its SUSE Cloud platform, which had its first release in 2012 and was updated with a second release in 2013. Jarvis said customers can easily upgrade between SUSE Cloud 2 and SUSE Cloud 3.

"We provide upgrade scripts and a process description for achieving the upgrade," he said.

As a platform, OpenStack supports multiple virtualization hypervisor technologies, including VMware. Jarvis explained that the SUSE Cloud solution leverages a VMware vCenter driver, which enables customers to use existing VMware virtualized nodes or add additional VMware nodes.

Looking forward, Jarvis said next two big things for SUSE Cloud will be high availability and the OpenStack Icehouse release currently set for April 17. Among the new technologies in Icehouse is a database-as-a-service project, which Jarvis said will provide more flexibility when setting up cloud workloads.

"Icehouse will continue the evolution and provide enhancements to the current OpenStack components, which is critical to ensuring the long-term vision of the project," he 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.