Suse grounds its OpenStack Cloud in favor of Kubernetes and containers

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Suse is moving away from OpenStack and towards Kubernetes-based containers. (Pixabay)

Open source vendor Suse has pulled the plug on its OpenStack Cloud a few months after its latest release, the company announced on Wednesday.

Suse is throwing in the towel on OpenStack in favor of its Cloud Application platform, which is based on the open-source Cloud Foundry platform, and a Kubernetes based-container platform.

As part of that move to Kubernetes, Suse is no longer producing new versions of its OpenStack Cloud while ceasing the sales of its existing OpenStack product.

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"As Suse embarks on the next stage of our growth and evolution as the world’s largest independent open source company, we will grow the business by aligning our strategy to meet the current and future needs of our enterprise customers as they move to increasingly dynamic hybrid and multi-cloud application landscapes and DevOps processes," Suse said in a blog post. "We are ideally positioned to execute on this strategy and help our customers embrace the full spectrum of computing environments, from edge to core to cloud."

Despite the move towards Kubernetes and containers, OpenStack won't be going away anytime soon. OpenStack is firmly entrenched with service providers and in cloud environments. It could also have a role going forward in managing containers on infrastructures.

"OpenStack is still a fundamental part of many cloud platforms, both within the enterprise and in the service provider markets," said Roy Chua, the founder and principal at AvidThink, in an email to FierceTelecom. "The majority of production NFV deployments are based on OpenStack, and even projects in flight at service providers are also OpenStack-dependent. Likewise, the major network equipment and solution providers have NFVI based on OpenStack as a VIM and while there's a move towards using containers and Kubernetes, we'll have OpenStack for a while.

"Red Hat, along with their network equipment provider OEMs, and Mirantis are still committed to OpenStack, though efforts are underway to host VM-based VNFs within a container infrastructure (e.g. KubeVirt and Virtlet projects). The maturity of these projects is such that they aren't quite production-grade yet and the adequacy of container infrastructure for NFV still needs work--I/O acceleration, shared library and kernel versioning, drivers, workload scheduling, plus most VNFs haven't been converted to CNFs (cloud-native network functions) running in containers. We'll see a gradual migration to containers than a quick drop off."

Chua said Suse's decision to drop OpenStack made sense given its need to focus on the future while finding a way to differentiate itself from the likes of Red Hat, Canonical, Mirantis and others, "especially given a smaller installed based of OpenStack customers than the other vendors."

“The market for OpenStack distributions is settling on a core group of highly supported, well-adopted players, just as has happened with Linux and other large-scale, open-source projects,” said OpenStack Foundation COO Mark Collier in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “All companies adjust strategic priorities from time to time, and for those distro providers that continue to focus on providing open-source infrastructure products for containers, VMs and bare metal in private cloud, OpenStack is the market’s leading choice.”

Collier told TechCrunch that analyst firm 451 Research has said there is a combined Kubernetes and OpenStack market of about $11 billion, with $7 billion focused on OpenStack.

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