Open Source

SuSE enters the realm of storage in a big way

On the heels of SuSE announcing their new storage solution, Jack Wallen offers you reasons why enterprise customers should take notice.

SuSE

This week, SuSE officially released their SUSE Storage, a self-healing, self-managing, distributed software-based enterprise storage solution. This project is based on the Firefly version of the Ceph open-source project and is not only ready to safely and reliably store your data, it's ready to do so while saving you money.

The cost? Less than a penny per 10 GB per month.

But what is "software-defined storage"? Basically, it's geared toward lowering the cost of enterprise-grade storage. According to SuSE, "Software-defined storage is the solution to this significant business challenge. Software-defined storage is the process of separating the physical storage hardware (data plane) from the data storage management logic or "intelligence" (control plane). This storage solution requires no proprietary hardware components, enabling the use of off-the-shelf, low-cost commodity hardware."

Off-the-shelf, low-cost hardware. Imagine being able to build a serious, enterprise-ready storage solution from commodity hardware. That is a game changer. According to SuSE, with their storage solution, you can:

  • Reduce your capital expenditures
  • Reduce your operational expenditures
  • Adapt quickly as your business needs evolve
  • Keep up with explosive growth with software-defined storage

... all for change found between the cushions of the enterprise couch.

Now, before you think this will benefit your small to mid-size company, think again. SuSE is about one thing and one thing only these days — the enterprise. So, it should be of no surprise that their storage solution is aimed at object, archival, and bulk storage for very large companies.

Here are some features you'll find with SUSE Storage:

  • Cache tiering
  • Thin provisioning
  • Remote replication
  • Copy-on-write cloning
  • Erasure coding

Data has been growing at exponential rates. What (and how much) companies need to store digitally is not the same as it was five years ago. Those needs have dictated an inexpensive solution. SuSE is ready to deliver. Over the last few years, SuSE's popularity within the realm of the enterprise world has risen dramatically (with good reason). Adding software-defined storage makes perfect sense for a company on the fast track to becoming the darling of open-source enterprise-ready companies.

The only oddity about this announcement is SuSE hitching its wagon to the Ceph train. Why is this strange? Ceph is part of Inktank, which was recently acquired by, can you guess?

Red Hat!

That's right, SuSE is in bed with its competition. Unheard of? Not in the world of open source, which is exactly what Firefly is. Even though Red Hat may own InkTank, Ceph is released under the LGPL, so it's fair game and makes perfect sense for SuSE to take advantage of a solution with built-in track record of success — Red Hat or no.

With the open-source software storage market on the rise (Gartner predicted FOSS software storage would own 20% of the market by 2018), now is the perfect time for SuSE to enter this game. And this addition to SuSE's line-up sets it in a perfect position to expand beyond the European market and into the US. SuSE offers a full menu of products enterprise clients should be chomping at the bit to experience, including:

  • Live kernel patching
  • In-memory database storage
  • High availability
  • Disaster recovery
  • Virtualization
  • Cloud

And now... self-healing, self-managing, distributed software-based enterprise storage. The enterprise needs it, and SuSE has it. This is a brilliant move by a company that should be on the radar of every enterprise business.

What do you think? Can this addition to the SuSE toolbox be enough to bring SuSE into the US enterprise spotlight? If not, what should they focus on?

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About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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