Variety is the spice of life – especially with food and Linux
While you could prepare a family meal on an open fire, it is likely you use an oven and not a microwave. Classic IT is like the oven, suitable for most workloads, and is here to stay and be optimised. The Cloud is like the microwave, suitable for particular tasks, but not a universal replacement for the methods before it.
The ability to use fire is regarded as a key step in human development because it gave us access to cooked foods and new technologies. Stone tools found at Wonderwerk Cave, in South Africa, indicate that our distant ancestors, Homo erectus, were cooking over a million years ago.
Informational Technology has a much shorter history. In 1945 John Von Neumann published the First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC, the first documented discussion of the stored program concept and the blueprint for computer architecture to this day. However the lineage to early mathematics and manual computational methods must stretch back to before ovens were invented.
We are in the era of Bi-Modal IT, (coined by Gartner), where each mode is designed to develop and deliver information and technology intensive services in its own way.
“Mode 1 is traditional emphasizing scalability, efficiency, safety and accuracy.
Mode 2 is non-sequential, emphasising agility and speed.”
There are many types of cuisine, with a wide variety of global styles, available for today’s palette.
Gaeng Khiao Wan Gai, (Green Curry with chicken), is one of the most popular dishes in both Thailand and the UK. We can use Curry as a Service, (CaaS), a variant of the “pizza as a service” analogy to explore the different options open to host workloads as compared to preparing and eating a curry.
Curry as a Service (CaaS)
Green chillies gives the name to the curry. There is also the red version based on red chillies. In Thailand the green curry is considered the spiciest where as in the UK the reverse is true.
There are many variations to the curry especially based on geography, South to North in Thailand, to the Westernised versions, and the type of chillies used. A green curry in authentic Thai cuisine will always be hotter than a red curry due to the use of Bird’s Eye chillies.
Bi-Modal Mode 1 workloads are likely to be hosted on premise and on the left of the CaaS Table. Bi-Modal Mode 2 workloads are well suited to a service hosting, as depicted to the right of the CaaS Table. There have been an evolving range of operating systems available. However, currently there is a consolidation to a small number of variants – Linux, (largely replacing all Unix), Microsoft & Mac OS.
Linux, with over a 26 year history, is one of the most popular operating systems. Some are predicting that the Linux market share of servers will reach 5% in 2017. For super computers Linux adoption is nearer 98% and Linux is the most widely used for internet servers, internet of things and smart devices. SUSE has a close relationship with fellow German company SAP, proved by the 95% of all HANA implementations that are running on SUSE Linux.
There are thousands of varieties of chillies. There are also thousands of open source projects. Commercial open source solutions provide enterprise class distributions together with patches, controlled versions, support and maintenance.
In any family, like the enterprise, some may have a preference for green (SUSE) and others the red (Red Hat). In certain environments (SAP) the Green version (SUSE) has become the de-facto preference.
I like the water analogy to help explain why one would pay for something that at source is free.
Water is free. However we all pay for water. It is for the convenience and safety. It is similar with open source software. There are free open source versions of Linux, but would an enterprise rely on these?
Just as you would not have just one type curry available on a menu, most organisations make use of a variety of operating systems including Linux. There are a number of commercial Linux providers and open source distributions. We have seen that the most successful companies consolidate to a chosen number of distributions.
In fact SUSE Manager, can reduce complexity and regain control of IT assets with a single tool to manage multiple Linux distributions (SUSE & Red Hat) across a variety of hardware architectures, hypervisors and cloud platforms. One of the largest SUSE customers recently commented that as an organisation they have a mantra of considering alternatives for all hardware and software providers every 2 to 3 years, with one exception and that is Linux.
The reason is that while the mix used might change, having more than one distribution, (co-distro approach), allows them to have further valuable direct relationships into the commercial open source community. There are differences in the distributions based on price, SLA’s, culture, focus and degrees of openness. Having co-distro subscriptions allows a customer to build valuable relationships with a wider degree of future proofing and reliability than just relying on one.
Information and Food Technology has made great progress in recent years and has a bright future. There is still lots of change with evolving rival developments and projects. With a greater variety of options, preferences will change over time. With recent price rises in the red version, green is a more attractive proposition. It also helps in having a co-distro approach to negotiate with suppliers in terms of not only price but quality of service and responsiveness.
There are great advantages to having a co-distro approach.
Especially with SUSE at the heart of an organisation’s Linux strategy.