SUSE says its latest OpenStack offering, SUSE OpenStack Cloud 6, finally makes open source private clouds enterprise-friendly and easy to adopt without fear of vendor lock-in.

SUSE OpenStack Cloud 6 is the latest version of the company's OpenStack distribution. Based on the OpenStack Liberty release, it introduces several major new features. Those include:

  • Support for upgrading to newer versions of OpenStack without disrupting cloud operations.
  • Broader virtualization support with the addition of IBM z/VM compatibility.
  • Support for Docker containers (which sort of makes SUSE OpenStack Cloud more than just a cloud platform, but we're betting enterprises won't mind the optional extra features).
  • "Enhanced high availability," according to SUSE, which says the platform is designed to support enterprise workloads that demand absolute reliability.
  • Support for Manila, OpenStack's shared file system.

At the core of SUSE's pitch for its new OpenStack offering is enterprise readiness. Citing a study that the company performed recently, SUSE said in announcing the release that the vast majority of businesses "would use a cloud solution for business-critical workloads, and believe there are business advantages to implementing an open source private cloud." Yet companies remain "concerned about installation challenges, possible vendor lock-in and a lack of OpenStack skills in the market," SUSE said.

"SUSE is addressing these concerns by adding non-disruptive upgrade capabilities along with a more business-friendly release cycle and longer support duration. These combine to reduce the load on limited skilled resources by requiring fewer upgrades and minimizing disruption to production environments."

On balance, the SUSE OpenStack Cloud 6 probably won't allay ever CTO's concerns about the open source private cloud. The cost of migrating legacy systems will no doubt remain a challenge for many, as will the perception among some that OpenStack itself, with its varied and burgeoning components, is not yet fully mature.

But SUSE's new upgrade features and broader OpenStack support certainly won't hurt in attracting more companies to its enterprise platform. Some may finally see the new features as the push they need to get over the OpenStack adoption hurdle.