Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Thursday, June 8, 2023

SUSE Acquires HPE’s OpenStack, Cloud Foundry Assets 

Hewlett Packard Enterprise continued the selloff of its enterprise software assets this week in an expanded deal with open source specialist SUSE to acquire its OpenStack and Cloud Foundry technologies.

SUSE said Wednesday (Nov. 30) it is acquiring "technology and talent" connected with HPE's (NYSE: HPE) OpenStack infrastructure service along with its Cloud Foundry platform services. Terms were not disclosed. SUSE did say it expects to complete the transaction during in the first quarter of 2017.

The HPE software assets will be folded into SUSE's OpenStack Cloud and its Cloud Foundry platforms. The buyer also announced it would upgrade its membership in the Cloud Foundry Foundation and sit on the foundation's board.

As it calibrates its hybrid cloud strategy, HPE also named SUSE its "preferred open source partner" for Linux, OpenStack and Cloud Foundry services. "We are evolving our investment strategy to focus on developing the next generation of hybrid cloud solutions, which combines HPE technology with a broad ecosystem of open source and partner technologies that support traditional and cloud native applications," Ric Lewis, general manager of HPE's, Software-Defined and Cloud Group, noted in a statement announcing the deal.

Another goal, the partners added, is overcoming complexity issues that have plagued OpenStack deployments in multi-cloud settings.

In September, SUSE parent Micro Focus (LSE: MCRO.L) announced a merger with HPE's software business segment in an $8.8 billion transaction that creates a leading pure-play software infrastructure vendor. As part of the merger deal, HPE said it would utilize SUSE's OpenStack technology in its Helion OpenStack service and Stackato platform. The HPE-SUSE deal announced this week includes a "non-exclusive agreement" to include SUSE's Cloud Foundry platform technology in HPE's Helion portfolio.

The shedding of its business software assets illustrates a continuing shift in direction at HPE as it refocuses on hybrid cloud infrastructure along with data-driven approaches such as a memory-driven computing architecture unveiled this week. The prototype stems from an HPE research program announced in 2014 called "The Machine," an architecture that emphasizes memory over processor technology.

In selling off its "non-core" software assets, HPE has said it would sharpen its focus on providing hybrid IT infrastructure for running datacenters while bridging them to multi-cloud environments. HPE CEO Meg Whitman has nevertheless stressed that the company remains in the system software business. "The software defined infrastructure is all powered by software, but it's not applications software…. It is actually system software that powers the infrastructure," she noted after the Micro Focus deal.

"We’re leaning into new technology either through our own innovation, acquisitions or partnerships" with open source vendors such as SUSE, Whitman asserted.

Earlier this month, SUSE acquired a software-defined storage management framework of German technology firm IT-Novum that includes an open-source Ceph storage project. Along with the acquisition of HPE's OpenStack and Cloud Foundry assets, the company said in a blog post it would gain expertise in Docker application containers and Kubernetes cluster orchestration platforms.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).