SUSECON is Back! (BYOB)

Friday, 29 April, 2022

SUSECON is back! And once again (hopefully for the final time!) it will be a virtual conference. While many of us would love to be back together in person, there are some real benefits to hosting the conference virtually. One of these benefits is that there are no artificial limits on content, such as hotel room space, break times, etc. In a virtual conference, we can offer virtually unlimited learning possibilities!

SUSECON Digital 2022 Sessions

We just announced our SUSECON Digital 2022 Session Catalog, and it will blow you away! Last year had a lot of amazing content, but this year we have really outdone ourselves. Most of the content is listed now, but more will be added in the next couple of weeks. In total, we will have more than 200 sessions and demos in this year’s digital conference! That means 20% more Linux-related sessions, 20% more Edge sessions, 20% more demos and nearly 40% more Kubernetes sessions than last year!

In the mix with our extensive list of Technology breakout sessions this year you’ll find a couple of new arrivals for SUSECON Digital:

  • Return of the Hands-On Labs – virtually!

    • Hands-On Labs are a key staple of in-person SUSECON events. We had to take a hiatus for the last couple of years due to Covid, but this year we will bring back a limited number of opportunities to have a hands-on experience with the product software! Expert instructors will walk you through the following topics in a virtual classroom, with personal instruction and attention at your pace. Attendance in these Labs is limited, so make sure you reserve your place on May 10 when the SUSECON Digital Session Registration goes live!
      • Introduction to Harvester HCI
      • NeuVector Basic Deployment
      • Reduce downtime with SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability
  • Increased focus on business-level content.

    • While SUSECON is well known for outstanding technical content, we consistently try to provide content that helps business decision makers understand the value of our open source solutions. This year we are introducing topics that are more than simplified product overviews by discussing the real business drivers that represent challenges business leaders face every day, including topics like cost optimization, digital sustainability, Green IT, secure software supply chains and digital transformation.

And there’s more… as always!

One of our core commitments at SUSE is to always surprise and delight our customers, and at SUSECON we continue to do just that. As with our in-person events, we invite you to come for the content, then stay for the experience! Besides the amazing session content, see what else SUSECON Digital 2022 will have to offer:

  • Inspiring Keynotes

    • As always, the conference will be headlined by our executive team delivering inspiring messages and laying out our company direction for the future. Our CEO, Melissa Di Donato, will lead off the keynote series this year, followed by the General Managers of our Business-critical Linux, Enterprise Container Management and Edge Solutions businesses. Be sure to read Melissa’s blog for more information about these.
    • This year we are also excited to announce the return of the Technology Demo Keynote (remember Demopalooza?!?) with our CTO, Dr. Thomas Di Giacomo. Dr.T and his team of experts will demo new solutions that underscore both SUSE’s commitment to full stack security as well as our dedication to innovation.
  • Networking with Experts

    • Have you ever had burning questions, but you just didn’t know who to ask or how to reach them if you did know? SUSECON Digital 2022 will feature a robust networking environment where attendees can meet and mingle with hundreds of SUSE employees. Meet the engineers working on your favorite project. Talk to our Product Managers and give them your input on new solutions. Our presenters will be available to chat during most session presentation times, and then will available for small group discussions at scheduled times throughout the event. I encourage you to take full advantage of the networking tools to get to know us better!
  • Leisure time

    • Speaking of getting to know us better – be sure to check out something else new this year: SUSEDoes. In this virtual arena, a few brave SUSE employees will invite you to find out more about unconventional topics at a personal level. Ranging from cake baking to cold water swimming to building off-the-grid cabins, this will be a fun way to get to know us better!
    • When your brain just can’t absorb any more information – take a break and have some fun! The SUSECON Digital 2022 portal will have some retro games and light-hearted entertainment features as well to provide some much-needed downtime.

There are still a lot of great reasons to attend a virtual conference. So if you only do one this year, SUSECON Digital 2022 should be that one! Register today and we’ll see you June 7-9!

ELEVEN REASONS CUSTOMERS LOVE RANCHER

Wednesday, 9 February, 2022

We interviewed a number of existing SUSE Rancher customers and asked them what they loved about it. The findings are nothing short of astonishing! We are posting them here since they may help you with your container/cloud native journey.


1.  Customers love our free training – Rancher Academy. It was mentioned by almost all participants. Kubernetes management has some intricacies so starting with training is always a great idea. We have you covered.

2.  SUSE Rancher 2.6 came out with many new features – the new web interface is beautiful and intuitive. Customers love it for the looks and the ease of use it offers. The point and click UI lowers the learning curve considerably.

3.  SUSE Rancher plugs in painlessly with your existing Kubernetes clusters, Active Directory services for authentication etc., existing contracts with cloud providers and so on. Rancher is a team player!

4. SUSE Rancher is truly heterogeneous in terms of your choice of operating system – it can be deployed on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Ubuntu, CentOS, Red Hat etc. Here is the full support matrix.

5.  SUSE Rancher handles Kubernetes management complexity better than other competing solutions. We spoke to a tech admin who was struggling with one of our competitors. They then tested with Rancher and things just fell into place.

6. Our per node pricing is about as simple as it gets. No vCore/vCPU metrics plus extra terms and even more confusion. Price is per managed node – that’s it.

7. Customers have loved Rancher from the beginning. After the merger with SUSE, a banking customer we spoke to, felt even better about it since it became a part of a larger support organization. Support, after all, is the bread and butter of any open-source business.

8. What is more, after the merger with SUSE, Rancher got huge boost in engineering resources. Projects like Harvester became products and new ones are getting launched and proving value to enterprises. Customers are honestly pleased to see that we are restlessly continuing along the path of innovation.

9. Customers chose SUSE Rancher because there already was some Rancher usage/experience within their organization. It is simply a cool product and dev teams love it!

10. Customers love the openness of Rancher and its closeness to pure Kubernetes. They shared with us that other vendors have their own Kubernetes version which, in their words, is a drawback!

11. One of our customers shared that Rancher was chosen for being an all-in-one solution – solved a number of connection issues that came with downtime. It made troubleshooting so much easier for them.

If you are still on the fence with your choice of Kubernetes management – start with the Rancher Academy. Get a few folks trained and seek their feedback later. We’ll be there to help you along the way.

 

 

Putting the Open back into Open Source

Sunday, 28 November, 2021

Agility has never been more important than it is in today’s disrupted digital world. Leaders in every industry are trying to find a balance between the stability that allows them to plan for the future, while creating highly agile organisations that can quickly respond to new challenges and opportunities.

This agility only comes from the ability to innovate at speed, which is why open source communities are as vital as ever. According to SUSE’s recently commissioned Insight Avenue report, Why Today’s IT Leaders are Choosing Open, 84% now see open source as a way to cost-effectively drive this innovation.

Yet it appears many IT leaders have noticed the same worrying trends that we have in the world of proprietary software. While 82% say they still feel optimistic about the future of open source, 76% also say that the involvement of big tech players in open source could erode confidence and trust in the community.

Open Source vs Openness

Due to the ubiquitous nature of open source in enterprise technology, many vendors have created rigid and homogenised commercial solution stacks. There is nothing wrong with this approach as long as these solutions are interoperable and helping customers to innovate. The problem arises when vendors only support their own technologies with their commercial open source solutions. This creates lock-in and limits an organisation’s ability to choose the right solution for their needs. It also greatly hampers their ability to innovate everywhere.

It is quite clear that using open source solutions does not automatically translate into openness. With open source software, you can inspect, reuse, modify, and distribute software. This fuels innovation in the upstream communities. Openness on the other hand promotes flexibility, interoperability and freedom of choice at the enterprise-level. Openness is a conscious choice that vendors must make to enable open source software to continue to flourish freely at the enterprise level.

SUSE’s ongoing commitment to Open Source and Openness

Emerging technologies such as hybrid and multi-cloud, Kubernetes and edge computing are built on open source and Linux to create new levels of flexibility. SUSE remains committed to working with upstream open source communities to collaboratively develop solutions that meet our customers’ needs first, rather than a single-minded focus on eliminating competition and collaboration.

Our approach to open source is “open source first, upstream first” and our engineers passionately stand behind these ideals as a company. As we develop in the open and publish our code as open source, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to the open source community through actions, and not just slogans. As our customers search for agility and choice in their technology environment, we are proud to offer the open source solutions for spurring their next wave of innovation.

SUSE is pioneering cutting edge innovation in the upstream with several projects. This includes Rancher Desktop that will enable organisations to run Kubernetes on desktop machines, Opni which incorporates AI/ML for Kubernetes anomaly detection and Harvester which is an open source hyperconverged infrastructure solution for cloud native use cases. More details about these and other open source projects that SUSE is championing in upstream communities can be found here.

SUSE is also committed to building open source solutions that are truly open and interoperable with other technologies – even those from our competitors. Our customers have the freedom of choice and flexibility to swap out key components from our solutions with similar components from other vendors and still receive enterprise support from us. As an example, the SUSE Rancher Kubernetes Engine supports many other Linux distributions in addition to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. In the same way, the SUSE Rancher Management platform supports many other Kubernetes distributions in addition to SUSE Rancher Kubernetes Engine.

With the technology environment changing so rapidly, our flexible business practices and lack of enforced vendor lock-in are more critical to our customers than ever before. Ultimately, we believe that open source is not a zero-sum game – collaboration and openness inevitably creates a broader base for everybody to build upon.

About the author

Vishal Ghariwala is the Chief Technology Officer for SUSE for the APJ and Greater China regions. In this capacity, he engages with customer and partner executives across in the region, and is responsible for growing SUSE’s mindshare by being the executive technical voice to the market, press, and analysts. He also supports the global Office of the CTO to assess relevant industry, market and technology trends and identify opportunities aligned with the company’s strategy.

Prior to joining SUSE, Vishal was the Director for Cloud Native Applications at Red Hat where he led a team of senior technologists responsible for driving the growth and adoption of the Red Hat OpenShift, API Management, Integration and Business Automation portfolios across the Asia Pacific region.

Vishal has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Accelerating Security Innovation at SUSE

Thursday, 28 October, 2021

Today, we are very excited to announce the acquisition of NeuVector, a leader in full lifecycle container security that delivers end-to-end security, from DevOps pipeline vulnerability protection to automated security and compliance in production. With this acquisition, NeuVector significantly enhances the enterprise-grade security capabilities in the SUSE Rancher container management platform.

Security and compliance have been a long-term focus for Rancher. Some of the most popular features of Rancher, for example, are centralized authentication, RBAC, and CIS benchmarking. The integration of NeuVector with SUSE Rancher will ensure our security capabilities match the needs of our customers who are putting security at the center of their cloud-native strategies today. NeuVector and Rancher together will continue to meet and exceed customers’ expectations for full lifecycle security in any mission-critical environments.

Going forward, NeuVector will be positioned as a core pillar of a new cloud-native, open source security effort based on best practices, guidance and reference architectures within the movement toward zero trust security adoption.  We are embarking on an effort to open source NeuVector, which will bring state of the art container security capabilities to the Kubernetes ecosystem. With open source NeuVector, deploying NeuVector will be the premier choice to secure Kubernetes clusters, whether they are on premises, in the cloud, or in edge environments. NeuVector will continue to work with partners to offer customers superior Kubernetes security across the cloud native ecosystem, on any platform or with any orchestrator.

NeuVector has been a SUSE partner for several years, and NeuVector can be deployed through the Rancher catalog today! Over the years we have grown to be deeply impressed with the technology Fei and Gary built. NeuVector’s security suite is built to push security capabilities across the entire cloud native footprint, sharing the same open and interoperable ethos that we at SUSE are passionate about.

NeuVector is also uniquely capable in ensuring container security using network inspection, which we believe offers the least intrusive and the most capable container security. As more customers are interested in zero-trust security, NeuVector provides an ideally suited solution. We truly believe NeuVector offers the best security platform for SUSE Rancher.

For SUSE Rancher customers, NeuVector offers the key enterprise security capabilities needed to run Kubernetes at scale. NeuVector will be available as an add-on to SUSE Rancher, just like other innovative cloud-native solutions such as Longhorn and Harvester. There is no need to wait as customers can deploy NeuVector from Rancher catalog today and expect the integrated experience to become more seamless in the future.

Nic Gumina, security engineer II at United Wholesale Mortgage has this to say about their experience with NeuVector:

“As a financial services organization, United Wholesale Mortgage has a dynamic environment including multiple Kubernetes clusters in numerous environments, and our security needs to be built-in and automated for us to run alongside the business. We rely on the NeuVector Container Security Platform to scan images, audit configurations, monitor processes and provide visibility and protection in production. NeuVector is our foundation for ensuring we are deploying secure, compliant applications and infrastructures. The NeuVector team, from support to engineering to solutions architecture, are responsive, collaborative and one of our best vendors to work with on product roadmap, best practices, and optimization of the deployments.”

We look forward to providing customers like United Wholesale Mortgage with the same collaborative and responsiveness they have come to expect from NeuVector.

NeuVector greatly enriches the Rancher platform, and thus brings a great deal of value to SUSE partners. SUSE will continue to partner with cloud-native security vendors like Aqua, Palo Alto Networks, and Sysdig. True to SUSE’s open and interoperable ethos, NeuVector will continue to support the full range of Kubernetes management products in addition to Rancher and including OpenShift, Mirantis and Tanzu.

Security is a dynamic industry with an extremely high pace of innovation, featuring a diverse set of vendors with clear differentiation and focus. Following its integration with SUSE Rancher, NeuVector will focus on enhancing core Kubernetes platform security. This will raise the bar on container security while leaving space to further innovate and add value in the broader security technology stack. In this spirit, SUSE intends to continue to work globally with new and existing vendor alliance and resale partners from both NeuVector and SUSE.

I am so excited about the addition of NeuVector into the SUSE portfolio and can’t wait to work with Fei, Gary and the rest of the NeuVector team to ship the integrated NeuVector and SUSE Rancher experience to our community, partners, and customers.

Equinix and SUSE Simplify Cloud Native with Equinix Metal and SUSE Rancher

Monday, 18 October, 2021

As a world leader in digital infrastructure, Equinix is a strong supporter of open source Kubernetes technologies and a long time partner of Rancher Labs and now SUSE. We’ve invited Equinix to author a guest blog so you can learn more about how Equinix is building a first-class K8s experience supporting SUSE Rancher, K3s and more. ~ Bret

SUSE GUEST BLOG AUTHORED BY:
Masood Noori, Partner Manager @ Equinix Metal

Where the Digital World Connects

Equinix is the world’s digital infrastructure company. Founded in 1998, Equinix has grown steadily to become the leading provider of interconnected data center services globally, with 230+ facilities in 65+ markets on five continents.

While global reach is the physical foundation of Platform Equinix®, what makes Equinix truly special in the market is its proximity-based interconnection ecosystem — low-latency, private connectivity between the 1,800+ network service providers, 2,900+ cloud and IT service providers, 1,250+ financial services, 600+ content and digital media providers, and 2,900+ enterprises that house their critical infrastructure inside Equinix facilities. These companies interconnect physically or digitally more than 400,000 times across the platform — creating a “network effect” that grows faster than the next ten providers combined.

Partners have always been a critical ingredient for Equinix. In fact, the company’s name stands for EQUality, Neutrality and Internet eXchange, reflecting a commitment to be the place where networks (and now clouds, SaaS platforms and digital enterprises across all industries) can place their most critical infrastructure and securely connect with each other. This neutral strategy has encouraged an ecosystem-first mentality that provides customers with choice, flexibility, and best-in-class solutions.

Why Metal?

With the acceleration of all things digital, customers are increasingly looking for ways to activate powerful infrastructure when and where they need it. While some customers want to (or are required to) build and operate elements of their digital infrastructure, most users are happy to offload this task to a trusted partner. Equinix calls this cloud-like experience “physical infrastructure at software speed.”

Enter Equinix Metal, an automated and interconnected bare metal as a service launched in 2020. Equinix Metal has its roots in Packet, the leading bare metal automation startup that was founded at the same time as Rancher Labs (in 2014) and acquired by Equinix.

At Equinix, customers who are growing quickly and expanding globally increasingly ask for help operating the digital infrastructure that underpins their deployments. Equinix has responded with a new suite of digital solutions that include Equinix Fabric, Network Edge, and now Equinix Metal.

Why SUSE Rancher and Metal?

Equinix Metal enables customers to easily deploy high-performance, single-tenant bare-metal infrastructure at all the key intersection points on the internet — literally right next to most of the major clouds, telecom networks, cable landing stations, media companies, and financial services players.

The Rancher software stack has long been known for enabling Kubernetes anywhere customers need. With Equinix Metal our customers now have the option to lean on a secure, reliable, and supported extension of their existing private or public cloud Kubernetes deployments. With Equinix Fabric, that infrastructure can be connected directly to clouds, to on-premises infrastructure, and to a growing list of hundreds of destinations at Equinix. We provide these benefits of cutting network costs, improving latency by 50-100%, and providing top-tier global support to 10,000+ organizations worldwide.

“The Rancher Enterprise platform and Equinix Metal provide automated infrastructure with both simple clicks and trusted APIs, deploying thousands of container clusters across hundreds of servers, globally.”  – Jacob Smith, cofounder and VP of Equinix Metal

While using a highly available digital infrastructure on Equinix – SUSE Rancher’s benefits are unmatched. The partnership allows SUSE Rancher customers to reduce capital expenses, gain multi-vendor flexibility, achieve faster time to market, and improve performance with ultra-low –latency, dedicated hardware and networking options. Kubernetes clusters are spread in hundreds of locations, deploying the infrastructure at massive scale with Equinix Metal. We provide the best-in-class infrastructure deployment and container management platforms together.

Better together

Our companies share a common value of providing the best service for our customers through neutral partner ecosystems. We provide solutions for your current and future IT needs and understand the importance of simple and intuitive tooling to meet fast-growing business demands. We give developers the ability to scale their code from testing to production on a globally trusted and agnostic platform, that meets their needs.

Together, Equinix and SUSE deliver open-source solutions on a global backbone of network connectivity. Our interconnected ecosystem of digital leaders significantly saves costs, increases performance, and accelerates speed to deployment. Please reach out to mnoori@equinix.com or to your local Equinix team if you would like to better understand how our partnership can help.

Masood Noori, Partner Manager at Equinix Metal

Masood has a decade of Enterprise Technology experience. His career began in hardware solution architecture at HPE. While covering large hyperscale accounts, he witnessed Open Source being leveraged in production deployments. This motivated him to join SUSE, where he was an architect for software partnerships and later became an Alliance Manager for Rancher container management solutions. Now a part of Equinix Metal, he manages the Developer Ecosystem.

HA Kubernetes with RKE2 & kube-vip  |    Harvester on Equinix Metal  |    Rancher Online MeetUp   |  Metal Developer Docs   |

How the Internet of Things (IoT) will drive adoption of Software Defined Storage

Tuesday, 10 December, 2019

Real world IoT use cases are everywhere. There are those we are familiar with as consumers: the app-controlled central heating system that sends household fuel consumption data to gas and electricity providers; the telemetry devices in the cars of inexperienced drivers, which report speed, location and journey duration data to the insurer; and the smart watch that records our sleep patterns, exercise workouts and our heart rate. Then there are those we are becoming familiar with as employees: the cameras that count us in and out of the workplace, manage security in retail outlets, or examine and optimise our journeys around a warehouse, and check ‘real’ stock levels vs the ERP count.

Smart cities have gone from a futuristic concept to a working reality, accounting for 1 in 5 IoT projects globally. In Europe, London, Barcelona, Berlin and Dublin all have cameras that measure and manage the flow of traffic, see the flow of people on the street, and systems that plan the use of public transport. The era when we waited for the bus with one eye on our watches and the other on the weather has passed: an app tells us where the bus is, and when it will arrive. Waiting for a bus that never comes is a thing of the past.

Meanwhile, out in the countryside, agriculture is being revolutionised as software controlled farming takes off. Sensors measuring soil conditions decide when, if and where crops should be fertilised, irrigated and harvested. The tractor and the harvester are driven by computers, with the farmer an obsolete and redundant passenger, present in the vehicle only for compliance reasons – less able to detect a stray human in the path of a combine harvester than the machine itself.

IoT sensors can – or soon will – measure just about everything that can be measured: speed, acceleration, distance, temperature, pressure, light, humidity, proximity, chemistry; for every adjective, a sensor.

Needless to say, the IoT is one of the single greatest contributors to the data explosion, with deep and wide reaching implications for storage infrastructure. All of those sensors, at ‘the edge’ – far from the data center – creating vast and (of course) “exponentially” growing volumes of data. As Cisco blogger Tim Stack put it ‘staggering, to the point of appearing fantastical’. 5 quintillion bytes of data produced every day from knocking on 30bn devices.

Key reasons IoT data storage will be software defined – and one big indicator as to why you should consider SUSE Enterprise Storage. 

  1. Data volumes make traditional ‘big iron’ approaches unaffordable. If you carry on down that path, you’re going to need something a bit stronger than an xlsx spreadsheet to run your spending projections. In a few years’ time, a spreadsheet won’t be able to get enough digits into the single cell that represents the total.
  2. Sensors don’t sleep. You’re going to need a system that can scale out without a “forklift” interruption every few minutes. The capacity to add storage on-demand without switching off applications.
  3. AI and ML driven analytics access of data. All that data is going to be used for making decisions, and not all of those decisions will be made by humans – many will be human+ augmented decisions. Make it easy and convenient by having data in a single repository for Object, Block and File.
  4. Linux: the dominant IoT OSLinux is the most used OS for edge nodes and gateways, and in the data center where analysis takes place. You might want to consider how these technologies are going to converge.

Storage professionals have some big decisions that they must make. The old approach of adding array after array of storage from the big name providers in an age of exploding data volumes is unlikely to be a sustainable or affordable strategy. When “hyperscalers” like Amazon, Facebook and Google – with their epic combined buying power – are choosing to use open source software-defined storage and run it on commodity hardware, it’s clear the long-term direction the market will take.

When your systems need to be “always on” because your operations run 24/7/365, and your AI never sleeps, downtime for forklift upgrades is not an option. And, if you’re going to be scaling your data because of IoT, you’re likely to see more and more use of open source technology – and over time, you’re going to want these technologies to play nicely together.

Added together, it’s a compelling case for using SUSE Enterprise Storage. Reduce your costs by running on commodity hardware. Avoid forklift upgrades with technology that can scale online into the Exabytes.  Unify your file, block and object data.  And provide high bandwidth access to your AI/ML applications and get ready for the IoT future.

Not sure where to start? We’re here to help.