November 18, 2013

SUSECon Summary: Big-Time Linux is Getting Bigger

What I learned at SUSECon: large-scale enterprise Linux is huge, and its serious growth is just beginning. Consolidating the datacenter into Linux on mainframes is perfect for financial institutions and retailers, and for any workloads with large-scale transactions and database processing. Linux is also a great fit on mid-range and small servers, distributed computing, supercomputers, and well, pretty much everything.

Consolidation isn't always this dramatic: "The servers! They stole all our servers!"

Coming Soon to SUSE Enterprise

SUSE Enterprise Linux 12, which will be released in the latter half of 2014, is going to be a significant upgrade with a new codebase and a whole lot of new features all aimed at improving highest-end performance, manageability, and security. Meike Chabowski, Product Marketing Manager and Marcus Kraft, Product Manager, gave us a look at SLES's roadmap. It's long, so here are some highlights:

  • New high-availability stack
  • Snapper management tool for Btrfs
  • Real-time extensions
  • More aggressive updates for hardware support
  • Simpler pricing
  • Unattended migrations
  • Built-in installer
  • YaST2 systems management
  • Starter System for System z
  • Faster AppArmor configuration

New Hardware, New Markets

Jim Wasko, Director of IBM's Linux Technology Center, is looking ahead to a vastly more complex future: masses of unstructured data, BYOD (bring your own devices), mobile, and more change. Lots of change. Cloud technologies and new management tools are essential to building datacenters with the flexibility to respond to changing demands, and to efficiently manage resources. Mr. Wasko says we have the tools, and the bigger problem is changing business processes to allow the technology to be effective.Like SUSE, IBM's approach is to accomodate customer needs, and to integrate all the technologies that customers want into heterogenous networks, so various operating systems, databases, business intelligence, applications, and middleware all live together in heterogenous networks.

Jim Wasko's SUSECon keynote


IBM, SUSE, and a whole lot of other tech vendors are looking at China, Brazil, and other overseas markets as significant new sources of business. Linux and open source play key roles in this expansion because they're nimble and adaptable.

Mr. Wasko noted that the rise of ARM on low-power devices and servers, and Power on mid-range servers is putting pressure on Intel, especially in the low- to mid-range microprocessors. However the hardware market shakes out, Linux works great on all of these.

Growth Engine

These new enterprise technologies are complex, and are going to become more complex. The datacenter of the future is going to be more diffuse, blending in-house private resources with external hosted resources. Demand for Linux experts is strong in all roles: system and network administrators, coders, sales engineers, customer support, and lots more. But hobbyist Linux isn't going to cut it for the enterprise; Linux professionals need updated skills, and need to keep them current.

Nils Brauckmann, President and General Manager of SUSE, emphasizes the importance of stability and reliability for enterprise Linux vendors. Customers want to be confident that their Linux vendors will be there for them and not disappear. They're going to depend on the pros more than ever, and we can't let them down. Linux-powered IT is much more than just plumbing: it's the growth engine for businesses of all sizes in all industries.

Susecon 2013 - Nils Brauckmann Keynote

I must bid SUSECon 2013 a sad farewell. It's been a great trip, and I got to meet a lot of friends I've never met in person before, and make new friends. Please enjoy these photos of a wonderful conference.

red flowers at SUSECon 2013

egret at SUSECon 2013

SUSECon captive


unisys at SUSECon 2013skeleton


singing thing at SUSECon 2013

fuzzy tux at SUSECon 2013 mainframe


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