Hoping to build upon IBM's promise to invest $1 billion to expand Linux and open source software on Power servers in coming years, Linux vendor SUSE and open source storage company MariaDB Corp. have announced a partnership centered on the hardware platform and the upcoming release of Suse Linux Enterprise 12.

The collaboration will optimize MariaDB's relational database storage system for SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 on servers running on IBM's POWER8 chips. SLE 12 is scheduled for release in Q4 2014.

SUSE and MariaDB are both pitching the move as an opportunity for expanding open source offerings on POWER8 hardware, the server platform that IBM introduced to the market in June 2014. "This collective work with MariaDB speaks to the opportunity that open source brings to IBM Power Systems," said Nils Brauckmann, president and general manager of SUSE.

In a similar vein, Patrik Sallner, CEO of MariaDB Corp., said, "This partnership is a win for SUSE, a win for IBM and a win for MariaDB's customers and community. The optimization of MariaDB for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 on IBM Power Systems servers with POWER8 processors gives enterprise companies an ideal way to easily deploy database environments with unparalleled scale-out performance and near continuous availability."

The effort to expand the open source software stack available for POWER8 comes in the context of IBM's commitment, which it announced in September 2013, to investing $1 billion to develop Linux and other open source software on its hardware platforms, especially the Power servers. As a new hardware platform, POWER8 still needs a rich app ecosystem, and SUSE and MariaDB are eager to stake claim to their share of that ecosystem as it evolves.