Suse working on private OpenStack cloud

The commercial version of Suse Cloud should become available next year

Attachmate's Suse division has announced plans to offer software based on the OpenStack platform for enterprises to build private clouds.

Suse Cloud, which won't be available for nine months to a year, will be based on the latest version of OpenStack, called Diablo. An early version of Suse Cloud is available for download and testing, but Suse doesn't recommend that companies use it in a production environment.

The software is compatible with hypervisors from Microsoft and VMware as well as the Xen and KVM hypervisors. It runs on the Suse Linux Enterprise server and can be used with Suse Studio, for building and deploying cloud applications, and the Suse Manager server administration tools.

Attachmate acquired Suse when it bought Novell and has spun it off into an independent business unit. It joins a couple of other companies, including two founded by OpenStack's original developers, that offer products or services to help enterprises use OpenStack to build internal clouds.

Nebula, founded by a former CTO of NASA, is working on an appliance for building private clouds using OpenStack. It's in testing now and due to be available next year.

Piston Cloud Computing is developing an OpenStack distribution designed for easy deployment that will include security features that are important to businesses. Piston was founded by the lead architect of NASA's cloud, which was spun to become OpenStack, and the company expects to begin offering the software commercially in late November.

In addition, Rackspace, which contributed code along with NASA to create OpenStack, has offered to help companies use OpenStack to build private clouds.

The Suse division, like other companies, has said its product will make it easier for businesses to use OpenStack to build a private cloud, which can be a complex task.

Enterprises are also interested in OpenStack because it might improve application portability, said Kerry Kim, director of solution marketing for Suse. OpenStack is increasingly being used in public cloud implementations and if businesses also use OpenStack internally, they can more easily move workloads among the clouds, he said.

Suse said it is releasing the early software now, long before the product will be finished, to show its commitment to it. While businesses have expressed interest in OpenStack, few have actually started making investments in it, Kim said. He expects more businesses to be ready to start building internal OpenStack clouds next year, around the time Suse Cloud becomes available.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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