Introducing SUSE Hybrid IT

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One of the most important announcements at this year’s SUSECON Digital is the release of an end-to-end technology solution optimized for hybrid IT environments. We’ve called it SUSE Hybrid IT. 

What is hybrid IT? 

While cloud computing has replaced traditional datacenter models as the preferred choice among many small to medium-size firms, most enterprises still run legacy software systems that can’t be migrated to the cloud without presenting overwhelming technical and financial challenges. When this is the case, a hybrid IT approach delivers data workloads, applications, and services across a wide range of different infrastructures, including public, private, hybrid cloud environments, and on-premises data centers. 

The challenges of hybrid IT 

The two most common challenges faced by enterprises that run hybrid IT environments are: 

  • Consistent Management – many are concerned that their legacy platforms will not coexist and evolve with their newer, cloud-native counterparts. This is especially true when implementing consistent information security, access controls, backups, updates, and configurations across multiple substrates. 
  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – running applications in the cloud can be costly, especially for large deployments. Continuing to run some platforms in on-premises data centers is often seen as a way of managing these costs. However, operational costs can balloon as different services and infrastructure resources try to interact across silos or manage interdependencies. 

For more information on the challenges of hybrid IT environments, check out Jeff Reser’s excellent blog series – Adapting for Hybrid Cloud 

What is SUSE Hybrid IT? 

Following the acquisition of Rancher Labs in December 2020, SUSE can offer best-of-breed technologies for each layer of the hybrid IT stack. SUSE Hybrid IT supports two types of enterprise applications – cloud-native and cloud-ready: 

Cloud-native 

The term ‘cloud-native’ describes an application where each component is packaged in its own container and dynamically orchestrated. Typically deployed in a cloud environment, each component or ‘microservice’ can be scheduled and managed to optimize resource utilization and increase the overall agility and maintainability of applications.  

SUSE Hybrid IT components that support cloud-native applications include:  

SUSE Rancher 

SUSE Rancher1 unifies an organization’s Kubernetes clusters to ensure consistent operations, workload management, and enterprise-grade security when delivering enterprise-critical services from core to cloud to edge. SUSE Rancher supports any certified Kubernetes distribution including RKE and K3s. It’s the only Kubernetes management platform to provide full lifecycle management for clusters on AWS’s EKS, Azure’s AKS and Google Cloud’s GKE. More on SUSE Rancher 

Rancher Kubernetes Engine (RKE) 

RKE is a CNCF-certified Kubernetes distribution that solves common installation complexities of Kubernetes by removing most host dependencies, presenting a stable path for deployment, upgrades & rollbacks. RKE is designed to work seamlessly with SUSE Rancher but is interdependent from it – you can use them together or independently depending on your use case. More on RKE 

Longhorn 

First started by members of the Rancher Labs team in 2014, Longhorn is now an official CNCF project that delivers a powerful cloud-native distributed storage platform for Kubernetes that can run anywhere. When combined with SUSE Rancher, Longhorn makes the deployment of highly available persistent block storage in your Kubernetes environment easy, fast, and reliable. Like RKE, you can use Longhorn interdependently of SUSE Rancher. More on Longhorn 

Cloud-ready 

A ‘cloud ready’ or ‘cloud-enabled’ application is built from software that has been modified to run on a cloud computing infrastructure. An example of this would be an application located on-premises that has been ‘lifted and shifted’ to the cloud.  

SUSE Hybrid IT components that support cloud-ready applications include: 

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) is an adaptable and easy-to-manage platform that allows developers and administrators to deploy business-critical workloads on-premises, in the cloud, and at the edge. Its “common code base” platform bridges traditional and software-defined infrastructure. SLES simplifies workload migration, protects your traditional infrastructure, and accelerates the adoption of containers. More on SLES 

SUSE Manager 

SUSE Manager is a best-in-class Linux management solution designed for enterprise DevOps and IT operations teams. It supports multiple distributions (SLES, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Oracle Linux, and Ubuntu), multiple architectures (x86, IBM POWER and IBM Z systems), in multiple substrates from in-house datacenter to the cloud. From remote installation to cloud orchestration, automatic updates, custom configuration, performance monitoring, compliance, and security audits, SUSE Manager deftly handles the full lifecycle of Linux devices. More on SUSE Manager 

What makes SUSE Hybrid IT different? 

While we want to make it easier for our customers to use SUSE Hybrid IT to easily combine certified technologies that they can trust, we won’t penalize customers if they choose to swap out pieces of our stack for alternatives to match their use case. Unlike our competitors, we won’t lock them into a single vendor monoculture. 

At SUSE, we are committed to an ‘open, interoperable’ approach to IT operations because we believe it is the only way our customers are free to ‘Innovate Everywhere.’  

SUSE Hybrid IT’s flexibility is combined with new commercial terms, lowering the cost of entry and scaling predictably as customers grow. 

What to learn more? 

To dig deeper into emerging use cases for running Kubernetes and adaptable Linux in hybrid IT environments, join us at SUSECON Digital 2021 to learn from members of our expert team and our amazing customers. 

Register for free access  

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Tom Callway
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