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SUSE is officially making its OpenStack-based Open cloud offering widely available. The Linux vendor has been working on its OpenStack distribution for much of the year, with the first public beta debuting back in June.
The new SUSE Cloud can be used for both public and private cloud deployments and adds yet another option for enterprises looking to deploy a commercially supported OpenStack distribution. OpenStack started out in June 2010 as an effort led by NASA and Rackspace. It has since grown to include all of the major Linux distributions, including Ubuntu and Red Hat as well as major IT vendors such as HP, Dell, IBM and Cisco.
Since the SUSE Cloud offering entered beta, developers have been fixing bugs, hardening the software for enterprise use, as well as working to include some additional innovation.
Pete Chadwick, senior product manager for cloud at SUSE Linux, told Datamation that one of the key items his company has been working on is better Xen hypervisor support. The main OpenStack project supports multiple hypervisors, though a lot of effort has been put into KVM specifically. Chadwick said that SUSE has a lot of Xen users and wanted to make sure that Xen is supported on an equal footing with KVM.
SUSE has also invested development time into adding the RBD driver for block storage on a Nova compute volume. Chadwick said that with RBD, virtual machines are able to more easily get access to distributed storage.
SUSE developers have also been working at improving the OpenStack installation experience. One of the ways that they have achieved that is by embracing the Crowbar open source technology. Crowbar is an OpenStack installer project that was originally created by Dell.
"What we've done is by combining crowbar and OpenStack, we have made it easier to get a cloud up and running," Chadwick said.
SUSE also has a different installation technology, know as YaST, that performs updates on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES). Chadwick said that there are pieces of YaST that have been integrated with Crowbar.
SUSE Studio Integration
Among SUSE's technology portfolio is the SUSE StudioSUSE Studio is not yet completely integrated with the new SUSE Cloud, but it is work that is in progress.
"The goal ultimately will be to build an image with SUSE Studio, then publish it directly into the image repository for your cloud, then be able to share it and release into production," Chadwick said.
Essex vs. Folsom
SUSE is delivering its OpenStack cloud tech based on the recent Essex release that debuted earlier this year. The OpenStack community is currently on track to have its next major release, codenamed 'Folsom' by the end of September.
The plan from a SUSE perspective is to track the upstream OpenStack development fairly closely. As such the plan is to update the SUSE Open Cloud with each OpenStack release.