Suse Ups Kubernetes Game with Rancher Labs Deal
The innovation engine that is Kubernetes is prompting infrastructure vendors to open their wallets to acquire developers whose platforms are based on the open source cluster orchestrator.
Suse, the open source cloud infrastructure specialist, is the latest, moving to boost its enterprise Kubernetes management portfolio with the acquisition of Rancher Labs. Terms of the acquisition announced on Wednesday (July 8) were not disclosed. Suse said the acquisition is expected to close by the end of October 2020.
Privately held Rancher Labs, Cupertino, Calif., develops software used to deploy and manage Kubernetes at scale. It claims about 37,000 active users of its flagship Kubernetes management platform.
Suse, Nuremberg, Germany, is an early developer of enterprise Linux distributions. The open source infrastructure and application vendor announced last year it once again was an independent company after being acquired and sold several times beginning in 2004.
The company said the deal for Rancher Labs represents the first step in its “inorganic growth strategy,” presumably leaving the door open for future acquisitions as cloud-native deployments proliferate. The company said its cloud revenues jumped 70 percent year-on-year.
The acquisition enables Suse “to play an even more strategic role with cloud service providers, independent hardware vendors, systems integrators and value-added resellers,” Suse CEO Melissa Di Donato said in announcing the deal.
Growing adoption of cloud-native applications and infrastructure is forecast to boost enterprise requirements for container management tools. That growth is expected to be fueled by an increasing number of machine learning workloads deployed via containers to the cloud and the network edge.
Industry observers noted the consolidation in the Kubernetes market reflects growing enterprise demand to accelerate container deployments. "We are seeing many enterprises adopt Kubernetes to more quickly build, adapt and update cloud native applications to keep pace with competitive pressures and customer requirements," said Will Freiberg, co-CEO of D2iQ.
Rancher Labs’ open architecture supports a range of Kubernetes distributions, including the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s version as well as Amazon Web Service’s Managed Kubernetes Service, Google Kubernetes Engine and Microsoft’s Azure Kubernetes Service.
In 2016, Suse acquired Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (NYSE: HPE) OpenStack and CloudFoundry technologies. It previously acquired a project team at IT-Novum, a German software-defined storage management vendor. The deal included the OpenATTIC project, the Ceph-based storage management framework.
The deal for Rancher Labs is the latest targeting a Kubernetes specialist. In May, VMware acquired Kubernetes security startup Octarine, a move designed to secure cloud-native environments from development to production. VMware was expected to embed the startup’s security technology into its Carbon Black cloud.
--Editor's note: This story has been updated.