Dan's Take

SUSE Jumps into the Software-Defined Storage Market

SUSE Enterprise Storage is unveiled, further crowding the space.

SUSE, a major distributor of open source technology, recently announced that it was jumping into the software-defined storage (SDS) market with the introduction of SUSE Enterprise Storage.

The goal is helping organizations reduce the need for expensive, high-end storage servers, storage-area networks and storage architecture complexity. SUSE Enterprise Storage makes it possible to deploy commodity off-the-shelf (COTS) disk arrays while still being able to meet the growing demands for object, archival and bulk storage.

This technology is designed to work both as a standalone storage virtualization product and in conjunction with SUSE OpenStack Cloud.

What Is SUSE Enterprise Storage?
The company described SUSE Enterprise Storage in the following way:

SUSE today announced the general availability of SUSE Enterprise Storage, a self-managing, self-healing, distributed software-based storage solution for enterprise customers. It is powered by Ceph, the most popular open source distributed storage solution in the marketplace. Priced at a market-leading 0.1 cent per gigabyte per month, SUSE Enterprise Storage enables organizations to build cost-efficient and highly scalable storage using commodity off-the-shelf servers and disk drives.

Based on the Firefly version of the Ceph open source project, the fully featured SUSE Enterprise Storage is well suited for object, archival and bulk storage, with features including cache tiering, thin provisioning, copy-on-write cloning and erasure coding.

I've written previously about a vendors' desire to appear to be all things to all people. In the current market, that means having an OpenStack offering. Another hive of activity is "software-defined" anything. Many suppliers are doing their best to take these centers of market and technology activity and brand it as theirs.

Storage suppliers such as Dell, EMC, HDS, HP, IBM, NetApp and quite a few others are doing their best to make the market think that SDS is its unique domain.

It's clear that SUSE, like its competitor Red Hat, wants potential customers to think of the company whenever either cloud computing or SDS is mentioned. Both have made product announcements in both areas recently.

Dan's Take: The Whole Kit and Kaboodle
As I've mentioned before, all this intense focus is a good thing for the market as a whole. Each of these suppliers is investing heavily in improving the base technology and how it integrates into its own ecosystem.

The major claim to fame for SUSE is taking open source technology and all of its relevant components and making it available to its customers in an easy-to-install, easy-to-use, supported way. Other suppliers tend to make a selection of the options available rather than offering everything. This means that SUSE prides itself on offering customers the greatest flexibility.

Take a look at what SUSE is doing with both OpenStack and SDS, and I expect you'll be impressed.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.