SUSE, best known for its eponymous Linux distribution, recently announced the public beta of a Container as a Service (CaaS) platform. SUSE positions CaaS as an application development and hosting platform to run container-based applications. CaaS can be run on premises or in the public cloud.
The SUSE CaaS platform has three major components: a container host OS, configuration and management tools, and an orchestration system.
By incorporating all these elements, SUSE believes its platform provides a highly automated environment that will let customers focus more on application development and deployment, and less on managing the underlying infrastructure.
“Just providing a the container engine isn’t enough,” said Simona Arsene, Senior Product Manager at SUSE in a briefing. “When you talk about production applications, you need a solution to address microservices and orchestration.”
The container OS in this case is MicroOS, which is derived from SUSE’s Linux Enterprise Server OS. At present, SUSE’s CaaS doesn’t support other containers, such as Docker, though Arsene says the company will add competing containers in the future.
For automation and configuration CaaS supports Salt, the open-source configuration management software, and cloud-init, which is open source software for managing cloud instances. The cloud-init software was originally developed by Ubuntu but is widely supported on various Linux distros and is used in public clouds including AWS and Google.
Last but not least is orchestration, for which CaaS relies on Kubernetes. Arsene said Kubernetes was a natural choice because it is open source, is getting significant traction in the world of containers, and avoids vendor lock-in.
“We want to be an open, open-source company,” she said.
Extending The Portfolio
As mentioned, SUSE is best known for its enterprise Linux software, but Arsene says the company is extending its product portfolio, including around the cloud. For instance, SUSE offers private cloud software based on OpenStack.
Earlier this year, SUSE acquired OpenStack technology and personnel from HPE to bolster its own OpenStack offering.
In regard to CaaS, note that SUSE isn’t hosting CaaS itself. Rather it will make the software available for deployment on premises, or to be deployed in public clouds such as AWS.
At present, however, the beta is only available for on-premises deployments. SUSE hopes to have a software package available to be purchased within AWS and other public clouds when the platform becomes generally available.
Arsene didn’t provide pricing details, but said it’s likely to be made available as a subscription.
The SUSE CaaS platform is available in a public beta. To get more details and to sign up, go here.