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SUSE in Clouds, OpenSUSE in Marketing Mode

Clouds



Summary: A critical assessment of where SUSE stands at the end of 2011 and how this interacts with the release of OpenSUSE

THE past year has been good for GNU/Linux. On the server, for instance, it carried on gaining.



According to some figures, Red Hat keeps beating Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Linux (SUSE), and Solaris. This is not especially surprising given the recent results and upgrade of Red Hat (c/f our daily links). SUSE can see the growth of GNU/Linux, but it cannot quite steal Red Hat's thunder, not even with Microsoft's assistance. From the news: "Even as the Linux Foundation reports on Linux jobs in the U.S., the global picture seems to be even more encouraging."

Over in New Zealand, SUSE is looking to "re-open Linux conversation" -- whatever that actually means. They cannot even get the name right. The news site says: "Suse has informed us the official pronunciation is written soo-sah - check out this YouTube video if you're still not sure."

At SUSE there used to be a lot of buzz over "IP peace of mind" (Microsoft FUD) and right now there is more and more of the Fog Computing ("cloud") hype. We gave many examples over the past couple of years. Consider this new Q&A from Australia:

There are two types of Cloud — public and private, and there is also the hybrid Cloud that’s a combination of both. We’re already in the Cloud business. You can use SUSE through a number of public Cloud providers, and we use Telstra locally. We also work with IBM and Intel, Rackspace and we’ve got some more global announcements coming up shortly about this.


Joe Brockmeier, formerly of Novell/SUSE, also pumps in that type of hype:

SUSE announced its commitment to OpenStack in October, along with a development preview available via SUSE Studio. This includes the three major components in the Diablo release (Nova, Glance, and Keystone). Brauckmann wasn't sure about specific contributions that SUSE would be making to OpenStack, but did say that the company plans to follow up with a second technology preview in Q2 of 2012. (The "Essex" release of OpenStack will come out in late Q1 if it sticks to schedule.)


At SUSE, it is no longer important to encourage software freedom; patents and decoupling one from his/her data is now a priority. On the purely proprietary side there is also IDM which Novell spreads to keep track of people. Novell's account in YouTube promotes the proprietary Vibe [1, 2] (based on open source but proprietary) and some other proprietary software stuff that can be found in other new files like this one. The only thing which remained somewhat open is OpenSUSE, but this is a promotional move/tool for SLE*. The so-called 'community' is being approached for free artwork [1, 2] while others provide documentation and reviews. OpenSUSE is not unique, but this one review says: "when I read about some of the features in OpenSuse 12.1, I couldn’t resist giving it a try."

All those features are available elsewhere. What YaST has should have equivalents elsewhere too. There is of course also the volunteer composition of weekly reports [1, 2], putting aside the OpenSUSE project site itself [1, 2] or those who took it for a spin for comparative purposes.

The bottom line is, SUSE lost to Red Hat and it is not promoting Open Source at all. OpenSUSE is being used to add the "open" angle to SUSE marketing. Nobody really needs either of those. Smart folks simply see what else is out there and let SUSE dry up inside Microsoft's wallet. The boycott was not in vain, and it has been very effective.

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