The container-as-a-service (CaaS) movement gained a new entrant, with SUSE unveiling its aptly-named CaaS Platform. The offering includes a development and hosting component for container-based applications and services.
SUSE said the service supports organizations either containerizing existing applications directly or those using a microservices architecture. The platform uses Kubernetes for orchestration, its own MicroOS operating system, and Salt as a basis for configuration.
SUSE said the all-in-one product can reduce time to market for companies just starting to look at the container space in support of microservices.
“A container engine is really not sufficient for most companies interested in using containers to power their microservices,” said Raj Meel, product manager at SUSE.
Kubernetes and MicroOS
Meel said the company picked Kubernetes as the platform’s orchestrator because of its market dominance.
“Kubernetes has the maturity now and is production grade so we really don’t have to validate it with our customers,” Meel said.
Unlike its use of Kubernetes, SUSE worked internally on the platform’s OS. Meel said the company looked at alternatives but wanted to have greater control over security updates.
“With our OS, the user does not have to worry about manually updating with the latest patches,” Meel said. “This really goes towards our as-a-service model.”
Jay Lyman, principal analyst for cloud management and containers at 451 Research, threw support behind the claim.
“Organizations interested in enterprise-grade security, reliability, and scalability with containers are the ones most likely to be interested in the SUSE CaaS Platform,” Lyman said.
Meel did note that while the MicroOS was “built from scratch,” the company did take advantage of its past work with more robust Linux Enterprise OS.
Meel’s colleague and fellow product manager Andreas Jaeger, added that both platforms use the same kernel. This allowed for quicker validation with customers that were already familiar with SUSE’s work.
CaaS offerings have become popular platforms from vendors looking to help foster the nascent container market. With most enterprises still lacking the internal knowledge to manage their own container work, CaaS platforms appear to have at least an early opportunity.
Docker Inc. is seen as one of the innovators of CaaS platforms, having launched its own environment early last year.
Jaeger said SUSE views its offering as a long-term play for the company. He said the platform will be used to support other products down the road, including the porting of enterprise storage.
“We expect customers to use it for their operations for a long time,” Jaeger said.
SUSE last year gained some OpenStack and Cloud Foundry assets, along with employees from Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The deal, which closed in March, came at a time when SUSE’s parent company, Micro Focus, was in the process of merging with HPE’s Software division as part of an $8.8 billion deal.
The container movement is expected to grow from $762 million in revenues last year to nearly $2.7 billion in 2020, according to 451 Research.
“Two things stand out from our market sizing and research on containers: the breadth and diversity of vendors basing their offerings on containers or integrating and partnering to better support containers in their products, and the speed at which the container software and market are maturing based on production, use, and revenue growth,” said Greg Zwakman, an analyst at 451 Research.