SUSE – “Will not diverge from its Open Source roots!”

No one had a busier LinuxCon show than the folks at SUSE. Yet still they were gracious enough, and care enough about the community, to sit down for a talk with Linux Journal. We had the distinct pleasure of sitting down for a few minutes during LinuxCon with Michael Miller, SUSE’s VP of Global Alliances and Marketing, to talk about their announcements, their future and the future of Linux,

SUSE had a major announcement at LinuxCon: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is the first and currently only server operating system supported by the recently announced KVM for IBM z Systems, open source-based server virtualization for the IBM mainframe. The announcement coincided with IBM's launch of LinuxONE, a new portfolio of Linux systems based on the z Systems mainframe: The LinuxONE Emperor, a mighty, muscular machine aimed at large enterprise and the LinuxONE Rockhopper, a more entry-level machine aimed at emerging markets that need mainframe capability on a budget.

SUSE was, in collaboration with IBM over 15 years ago, the first to bring Linux and mainframe platforms together. According to Mr. Miller, the addition of KVM for IBM z Systems support makes the advantages of mainframe computing more attractive and accessible to customers experienced with Linux and KVM. It also makes Linux the foundation of the software defined data center. The ultimate goal is to bring more workloads and more projects to the mainframe, which is a robust and growing scale-up platform, and KVM was the logical choice.

With IoT product development taking off at a rapid pace, those devices will also need to be monitored. That monitoring alone will require many billions of transactions, making mainframes almost necessary, and more cost-efficient than ever, even in data centers where they were not requisite in the past (hence the Rockhopper!). The software defined data center is critical to all of that and Linux is its foundation. Mr. Miller said “development is collaborative and distributed and open source has become the standard of innovation,” in Iot and everywhere. All of this is creating new types of developers and new types of IT folks too, according to Mr. Miller. “We listen to our enterprise customers and back into innovation, all upstream. We will not diverge from our open source roots.”

When asked to peer into his crystal ball and tell us what he thought was the next wave of innovation, Mr. Miller did not hesitate. “With software defined distributed storage, we are on the cusp of a new revolution,” he stated. IoT and other technologies are bringing “more data and larger data sets kept for longer periods of time. This massive explosion of data really requires a storage revolution. This is our opportunity to bring the power of open source innovation to bear on storage.” Stay tuned for more.