Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the SUSE Partner Program for Cloud Service Providers?

The SUSE Cloud Service Provider (CSP) Guide describes the SUSE program under which a CSP may resell SUSE product subscriptions in an on-demand or managed hosting arrangement. The SUSE Cloud Service Provider program provides a licensing model that has been tailored to fit the cloud business model and enables Cloud Service Providers to offer SUSE products in the cloud with pay-as-you-go pricing. The Cloud Service Provider acts as a reseller of SUSE products using time increments of one hour, one month, one year or three years.

The program extends to service providers the “right to use” SUSE products as the underpinning of their delivery infrastructure and gives CSPs where applicable the flexibility of a monthly “active subscriber” pricing and licensing model. Service providers always have access to the most current versions of SUSE products available in the program and only pay for actual end-user usage recorded or accounts active during the previous calendar month.

How does a CSP avail of LTSS?

LTSS SKUs are available only on the internal IOPS price list and can be applied to both single and multi-tenant environments. Support works in the same way as with any other cloud SKUs. CSP is responsible for L1/L2 support towards the end customer and partner is entitled for a L3 support from SUSE. Instance in this case refers to the number of servers or VMs that require LTSS subscription and partners should be able to use them until the end of support indicated in Product Support Lifecycle details. Following SKUs are available: 051-005810 Long Term Service Pack Support, x86 & x86-64, up to 10 instances per Code Stream, Inherited Subscription, per year - $4,000 051-005811 Long Term Service Pack Support, x86 & x86-64, up to 10 instances per Code Stream, Inherited Subscription, per month - $400 Same as in the cloud price list, shown prices are already discounted and subscriptions must be added to the monthly and quarterly usage report. Before you send required subscriptions to the partner, please inform Melonie Smith and add Ivana Oblak in cc as we need to be aware what will be used and reported.

Why was the SUSE Partner Program for Cloud Service Providers created?

The SUSE Partner Program for Cloud Service Providers (CSP Program) was created in response to growing demand from service providers for a monthly subscription-based pricing and licensing program. Service providers require a flexible cost structure that eliminates any up-front license fees or minimum commitments as well as the ability to carefully manage cash flow. SUSE created the CSP program with these core requirements in mind so that program members will be able to build their businesses methodically and profitably. SUSE incorporated input from leading service providers to create this compelling program that’s in sync with the service provider business model.

Who will be interested in joining the CSP Program?

This program is designed specifically for service providers who provide software services and hosted applications to end-user customers on a rental, subscription or services basis. Service providers looking for a program that will allow them to scale their business and pay only for what their customers actually use or sign up for will be interested in joining this program. There are over 10,000 service providers globally who fit this profile and the numbers are growing with the rising popularity of software as a service (aka SaaS). The CSP program is structured to meet the needs of these service providers and help them maximize the number of customers served from the same underlying software (aka “multi-tenancy” for high density and high utilization levels) and avoid up-front license fees and minimum commitments.

Why would a service provider join the CSP program?

There are a host of sales, marketing, and technical benefits associated with the CSP program that service providers will find immediately valuable. The program benefits include:

  • No membership fee to join the program
  • No upfront commitments or minimum purchase requirements
  • Active subscriber pricing which translates to greater profitability for service providers
  • Extremely compelling and flexible monthly pricing
  • Guaranteed pricing stability
  • Lower TCO tied to greater server and user density in the data center
  • Ability to use SUSE corporate logo and partner program logo
  • Access to Partner Central Portal
  • Access to SUSE Partner Events

Which SUSE products are included in the CSP program? 

The CSP program includes monthly usage-based pricing and licensing offerings for the following SUSE products:

  • SUSE Container as a Service Platform
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server – in all frameworks on Demand and BYOS
  • SLES for Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS)
  • SLES for Azure High-Performance Computing (HPC)
  • SLES for SAP Cloud Application Library (CAL)
  • SUSE Manager in BYOS
  • SUSE Enterprise Storage
  • SUSE Manager

A larger number of SUSE products are available for Hosting scenarios versus On-demand. Details on which SUSE products are available under which hosting model are contained in the SUSE Cloud Services

What is the difference between the On Demand vs Hosting?

The SUSE CSP Program accommodates providers who offer on-demand as well as those who provide managed hosting services.

The same SUSE Cloud Services Provider Agreement (CSPA) is used for both types of providers, and the SUSE Cloud Services Price List has pricing for both types of offerings.

The key piece of information for deciding between using Cloud (IaaS) or Hosting pricing is whether the underlying physical infrastructure is accessible by a single customer, or shared by multiple customers.

Multi-tenant Multi-tenant platform pricing listed under the “Cloud” section of the SUSE Cloud Services Price List is used for an on-demand model when a partner has multiple end customers running virtual guests on a server and the size of the virtual guest is based on the number of physical cores, or any portion thereof, that is allocated to the virtual guest. These SKUs may be used to offer SUSE products in an on-demand, multi-tenant scenario, and are offered in time increments of per-hour, per-month, 1 year and 3 years. Can be Standard or L3-Priority subscriptions.
Single-tenant Dedicated user pricing listed under the “Hosting” section of the SUSE Cloud Services Price List is used for a managed hosting model: that is, software subscriptions sold on a single system or virtual machine that is running on a hypervisor that is dedicated to no more than one end customer for the term of the software subscription. Dedicated user subscriptions may not be shared by more than one customer. These SKUs may be used to offer SUSE products in a dedicated user scenario and are offered in time increments of per-month. Can be Standard or L3-Priority subscriptions.

What is “PAYG” licensing and why is it popular with service providers?

SUSE active PAYG licensing model is actual usage-based pricing and is extremely popular with service providers on a per hour/month basis. In the SUSE model, the service provider only reports and pays for actual usage during the preceding calendar month time period. Service providers find SUSE licensing model extremely fair and appreciate the utility-based nature of our licensing. In fact, many service providers have expressed their appreciation to SUSE on providing them with an innovative licensing model that directly contributes to their bottom-line profitability.

What are the reporting requirement?

CSPs are required to report as per contract from the moment they receive Registration codes. Terms differ from CSP to CSP but mostly they are required to submit both Monthly tracking report and Quarterly/Royalty report. Price list should be used in order to report correct part number, product description and price. Reports are requested by the 10th of every month. In case reports are late usually it takes extra days to receive a PO if needed. If the data on a PO is incomplete or incorrect bookings are usually delayed to the following month/quarter. Quarterly reports need to be aligned with calendar quarter.

How can a service provider join the SUSE Cloud Service Provider program?

Service providers who are not existing SUSE partners should first visit to register. To enroll in the SUSE CSP Program, speak with your SUSE representative or send an email to and a SUSE CSP program representative will follow up promptly to initiate the process.

The following items are required for participation in the SUSE CSP Program:

  • A current SUSE Cloud Service Provider Agreement
  • Membership in the SUSE Partner Program
  • Adherence to the SUSE Public Cloud Infrastructure Setup Guide, which details image creation and maintenance requirements for SUSE images hosted in your cloud
  • Ability to provide Level 1 and Level 2 support to end customers
  • Process for metering of SUSE product usage in your cloud
  • A method for ensuring that all end customers have agreed to the SUSE end user license agreement
  • Monthly tracking and quarterly invoicing report

What levels of Support are offered under the program?

SUSE offers subscription types that accommodate a variety of hosting and support models. Hours of coverage are based on the primary address indicated in the signed CSP Agreement and are defined in the SUSE Support Handbook located at:

The available options are:

  • L3-Priority CSP provides L1/L2 support to customer and SUSE provides Priority (24x7) L3 support to CSP partner.
  • L3-Standard CSP partner provides L1/L2 support to end customer and SUSE provides Standard (12x5) L3 support

Can an existing partner join the SUSE Cloud Service Provider program?

Yes, any partner that meet the requirements can join the CSP program as outlined in the Program Guide.

Can a customer move their SUSE Subscriptions to a CSP?

Yes. The SUSE Bring Your Own Subscription (BYOS) Program allows customers with existing subscriptions which were ordered from the MLA/VLA to select SUSE Cloud providers. Read more

What is a Fulfillment Agent (FA) and what function(s) do they perform?

SUSE has developed a 2-Tier leveraged channel model for the SUSE Service Provider program. Designated CSP Distributors are authorized to recruit, manage, and support service providers as well as aggregate monthly reporting from all the service providers in their respective geography. Since we created a role of an ISR for CSP Program we need to be aware that the process of reporting is being regulated internally. Assigning a new FA or new CSP to existing FA should have a valid reason, since better option is to avoid paying a commission for what can be processed internally.

What are the qualifications to join the CSP program?

To qualify, the service provider agrees to submit monthly usage reports on time to a designated FA or to SUSE and to allow SUSE the right to audit and access the facility to ensure reporting compliance. The service provider also commits to maintaining a minimum of 2 certified personnel, 1 - sales, 1 - presales or 1 - technical. On-line training is free and available upon the individual’s approved registration to the SUSE Partner Portal. In-person training is available through SUSE training partners.

What are the CSP program reporting requirements?

All CSPs must submit to SUSE or via their Fulfillment Agent a monthly use report by the 10th of every month after the end of each and every calendar month. Failure to provide reporting for two months will result in program termination.

Is a Hosting provider allowed to host multiple customers within one subscription?

No. Subscriptions listed under “Hosting” section in the CSP price list are dedicated to only one end customer. Multi tenancy in this case is not allowed and if needed, partner should use multi-tenant subscriptions listed under “Cloud” section in the CSP price list. You can find detail in SUSE Program Guide.

How do I get initial registration codes?

Registration codes are required for access to the SUSE update repositories. Upon execution of the SUSE CSP Agreement, The CSP should inform SUSE of the type of product they want to host in their infrastructure. The registration code will be delivered to the primary contact with instructions on how to set up an account in SUSE Customer Center from which the registration codes can be managed. Only one registration code is required per product type. The registration keys have an expiration date and will need to be renewed annually. These subscriptions are not exposed to the end customer.

Why should CSPs should avoid using test/evaluation codes?

Test codes are not appropriate for usage in production. After the contract activation the CSP will receive Registration codes which should replace the test codes. Using test codes instead of registration codes are a common cause of support issues so CSPs should retire the test codes from their environment as soon as possible.

Is there a Master code to activate subscriptions?

We don’t have a Master code and CSPs should request Registration codes only for subscriptions they are planning to use.

How can a CSP get a price list?

Pricelists are available to download from the partner portal or by emailing

Is Quarterly reporting aligned with calendar quarter?

Not all CSPs report on a calendar quarter basis, but it’s obligatory that all new CSPs do so. Reporting needs to start from the moment of Registration code activation. If usage doesn’t start from that moment, they are obligated to report 0 usage. If usage starts in the last month of a quarter booking will be processed with the amount for that month only.

Usage reporting is based on trust and CSP is obligated to report in an accurate and timely manner. We are allowed to audit and if required we will do so, but priority is to maintain a successful collaboration and make sure CSP adheres to contract.

What are the options for using SUSE Manager in the Public Cloud?

BYOS: Through a simple online enrollment, SUSE customers can now transfer existing SUSE Manager subscriptions to Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure or Google Cloud Platform to the public cloud.

There are several ways that CSPs may use or offer SUSE Manager in the Public Cloud.

  1. CSP offers SUSE Manager as an available market place listing
  2. End customer utilizes their own on-premise or Public Cloud SUSE Manager deployment
  3. CSP uses SUSE Manager to manage end customer instances

How do I choose between Cloud or Hosting pricing?

The key piece of information for deciding between using Cloud (IaaS) or Hosting pricing is whether the underlying physical infrastructure is accessible by a single customer or shared by multiple customers. See the table below to determine when the CSP partner should use Cloud or Hoster pricing and when they should use physical versus virtual SKUs.

Scenario Which product SKUs to use
Deploying physical servers with SLES to host customer's workload non-virtualized Use the SLES Hosting Pricing for Physical Servers, per month or per year pricing
Deploying physical servers to host customer's workloads virtualized, one customer per server Use the SLES Hosting Pricing for Unlimited Virtual Instances, per month or per year pricing
Deploying physical servers to host customers' workloads virtualized, shared infrastructure with multiple customers per server Use the SLES Hosting Pricing for Physical Servers, per month or per year pricing (if using SLES as the infrastructure)

Use the SLES Cloud Pricing for Virtual Servers, hourly or monthly instance pricing