SUSE’s Innovation Engine Roars: SUSE Rancher Now on IBM zSystems and LinuxONE – New Futurum Research Report

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The News: As organizations look to deploy cloud native applications, the adoption of Kubernetes has correspondingly accelerated; however, this pace of adoption can easily lead to challenges.

Organizations are looking to comprehensively move to microservices architectures and use Kubernetes orchestration that enables DevOps and IT infrastructure teams to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives. Organizations looking to adopt Kubernetes need to be fully aware of the complexity of Day 2 operations and application deployment. These complexity concerns are amplified when a multi-provider and hybrid cloud model is the deployment chosen, the prevailing option of many large enterprises. Another factor to consider is that in many cases, organizations are adopting a plethora of chip architectures to align workloads and non-functional requirements to the underlying characteristics of the chosen platform.

Against this backdrop, many organizations have chosen IBM zSystems and LinuxONE platforms for their most mission critical Linux and open-source workloads. These organizations have the same requirements for simplified Day 2 operations and management, oftentimes more so given the criticality of the workload. In this paper, the Futurum team explores the SUSE Rancher solution and how SUSE Rancher deployed on IBM zSystems and LinuxONE can deliver on the need for enhanced security, performance, and availability while delivering simplified IT operations and efficiency.

SUSE’s Innovation Engine Roars: SUSE Rancher Now on IBM zSystems and LinuxONE – New Futurum Research Report

Analyst Take: In our new research report, “SUSE’s Innovation Engine Roars: SUSE Rancher Now on IBM zSystems and LinuxONE” — done in partnership with SUSE — we examine why it’s important that organizations better understand that cloud native applications and the overall pivot from monolithic applications to containerized microservices represent an accelerant to digital transformation projects, however, Day 2 operation challenges exist. When accepting this dynamic and laying it over the most mission-critical applications and workloads, the challenges faced by enterprises are palpable.

The wide range of enterprise needs when using Kubernetes means that organizations must perform intense due diligence when evaluating Kubernetes applications, vendors, and features, as well as how they collectively can solve pain points for IT infrastructures of all kinds. In our review and based on the information and data available to us at the time of writing, SUSE Rancher on IBM zSystems and LinuxONE platforms are well-positioned to address the important container management challenges across today’s Kubernetes cluster environments.

SUSE is also actively developing the Longhorn for s390x Cloud Native Computing Foundation CNCF incubation project to provide highly available persistent block storage for microservices-based stateful applications. Longhorn allows containerized applications that need stateful storage to remain and store their data as needed in container storage infrastructure (CSI). Longhorn takes advantage of IBM zSystems and LinuxONE storage mechanisms

As a result, we believe that enterprises looking to make the pivot to containerized microservices can gain confidence from the work that SUSE has undertaken to bring the SUSE Rancher and Longhorn technology to the IBM zSystems and LinuxONE platforms.

Of top importance, enterprises considering implementing the combined SUSE Rancher with IBM zSystems and LinuxONE technology stack should consider undertaking the following three steps as part of their evaluations and decision-making criteria:

Workload Assessment. Undertake a full assessment of workload characteristics and non-functional requirements to better understand the underlying deployment architecture. If the workload is demanding along the vectors of Security, Performance, Scalability, and Availability then customers should look to evaluate the s390x chip architecture and the IBM zSystems and LinuxONE platforms as a viable option.

Open Source Approach. Evaluate Linux distributions and Kubernetes orchestration layers based on their ability to not only support multiple chip architectures natively, but also fully understand the upstream and downstream approach the vendor takes to working with the Open Source community. In addition, organizations must evaluate the interdependencies between public and private cloud deployments if they are to reap the benefits of a true hybrid cloud approach and avoid the challenges of having to use different Kubernetes tools based on the underlying cloud or platform chosen.

Beyond Kubernetes. Futurum Research believes that enterprises looking to move to cloud-native containerized applications need to extend their evaluations beyond just the Kubernetes tooling and look to evaluate solution architecture holistically. Vectors such as storage, most specifically the opportunities presented by Longhorn, should be factored into any evaluation criteria. Another area vital to any container driven deployment project is container security.

Key Takeaways on SUSE’s Innovation Engine Roars: SUSE Rancher Now on IBM zSystems and LinuxONE

Overall, based on our evaluation and the information available to us at this time, we feel that SUSE Rancher on IBM zSystems and LinuxONE represents a compelling alternative for enterprises looking to deploy containerized microservices at scale into the most demanding and highly regulated environments and that organizations would do well to consider the value proposition SUSE Rancher provides as part of their overall solution evaluation process.

Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.

Other insights from Futurum Research:

SUSE’s Innovation Engine Roars: SUSE Rancher Now on IBM zSystems and LinuxONE – Futurum Tech Webcast Interview Series

HPE Discover 2022 News: HPE Deepens Relationships with Red Hat and SUSE

SUSECon Digital ‘22: Announcements from the All Things SUSE Conference

Image Credit: KPMG Int’l

The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research. 

Ron Westfall

Ron is an experienced research expert and analyst, with over 20 years of experience in the digital and IT transformation markets. He is a recognized authority at tracking the evolution of and identifying the key disruptive trends within the service enablement ecosystem, including software and services, infrastructure, 5G/IoT, AI/analytics, security, cloud computing, revenue management, and regulatory issues.

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