Business Technology

SUSE Linux Days 2013

I had the pleasure of attending SUSE Linux Days 2013 today at the Marriott at the Minneapolis City Center. I like being able to attend “techie things” in the Twins Cities.

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It was a lot of fun. Sadly, traffic was a little crazy on the way up from the south so I ended up changing my plans and riding the light rail into the heart of Minneapolis and walking the rest of the way. The few blocks were a pleasure, even if I forgot my jacket for that early in the morning.

The day revolved around three topics.

  1. SUSE Linux Enterprise Update
  2. SUSE Manager
  3. SUSE Cloud

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Each topic melded into each other, and the two presenters did an excellent job of covering a good number of topics, answering a good number of questions, and keeping everyone engaged with what was going on.

The impressive things I took away from the morning about SUSE Linux Enterprise included:

  • How many companies actually use SUSE Linux Enterprise. General Motors and Ford were called out specifically for using SLES as the backbone of their IT transformation and standardization projects. That’s pretty cool.
  • How many partnerships SUSE keeps up with. Not just hardware, but software partners as well. I’ve never really kept up with SUSE that much, but they are in more places than I would have thought.
  • SUSE offers up-to 10 years of support. Crazy. The support windows are very regular, very knowable, and very standardized. That’s rather nice when making decisions.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 is on track for a mid-2014 release. While a roadmap and more information is on the way for SUSECon, one thing called out was the possible use of Btrfs as the default file system. A bold move for sure, but kind of cool to hear about.
  • The High Availability stuff is cool and useful and SUSE has done a lot of the “thinking” for you. Many of the components are freely available as open source, but having someone pull it all together and support it could be really useful.

I’m most excited to see  what is going to be coming with SLE 12 in mid-2014. It is supposed to be based on openSUSE 13.1, which is currently in development, and one thing I will be watching is the inclusion of the new Ruby-fied YaST and an upgrade of the default Ruby installation to 2.0 … please?

I know another interesting development will be whether SLED 12 will move away from the Gnome default of SLED 11 and before and move to KDE. At the moment KDE is the default desktop for openSUSE, but whether the SLE release will move to that is yet to be seen.

SUSE Linux Days 2013 3The rest of the day was dedicated to SUSE Manager, SUSE Studio, and SUSE Cloud … well, it was actually dedicated to how those three products work together in their private cloud platform. What I was able to see was really good and I want to be able to play with the whole thing because I think that the ability to provision hardware as a part of SUSE Cloud, to build standard images with SUSE Studio, and manager it all from SUSE Manager looks like a really strong combination.

Is it too much for a small IT department at a private college in New Ulm? Maybe. It IS fun to dream.

I’m installing openSUSE 12.3 with the default KDE desktop while I write this so that I can try to keep up with what the future might be bringing. I don’t know if we are ever going to be able to standardize on a single platform at Martin Luther College, but I do think that I will see if there is a more prominent place for SUSE within the organization. What I was able to see looked good, but now I need to actually play with it myself to see how good it actually is.

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