A few months back the news came that SUSE stops supporting its Ceph-based SUSE Enterprise Storage (SES) product to their customers. And, with one eye on Rancher, will promote Longhorn instead. As we support mostly very avid Ceph storage teams we dove into the options you have if you are now a SUSE Enterprise Storage Ceph user.
First of all, it is good to know that SUSE states that the company will continue to support Ceph for all existing SUSE Enterprise Storage customers and partners in a limited manner until the beginning of 2023. SUSE already stopped supporting SES 5 and SES 5.5 from the 31st of January in 2021. The support for SES 6 will end on the 31st of January 2022 and the support for SES 7 will end on the 31st of January 2023. Furthermore, there won’t be any more updates, which means there will not be a SES 8. More information about the SUSE lifecycle can be found here: https://www.suse.com/lifecycle/ .
The remaining support for Ceph based SES 6 and SES 8 includes options for customers and partners to expand their capacities based on their current deployments. However, no new clients will from now on be accepted for SES support based on Ceph as of 2021.
Instead of Ceph at the basis of SES, SUSE is going to focus on Rancher Longhorn of which version 1.1 is already available. This tool provides persistent storage to containers and comes from Rancher Labs. Rancher Labs, a provider of tools and solutions for managing Kubernetes, was acquired by SUSE late last year. This created one of the largest providers of an open-source cloud-based tooling ecosystem.
Important to know in this matter is, what is Longhorn exactly? According to SUSE, Longhorn is an official Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) project that delivers a powerful cloud-native distributed storage platform for Kubernetes that can run anywhere. When combined with SUSE Rancher, Longhorn makes the deployment of highly available persistent block storage in your Kubernetes environment easy, fast, and reliable. Basically, this is the alternative that SUSE provides for their current SES users.
But what if you are committed to using Ceph as your cloud storage platform, maybe even combined with Kubernetes? What are your options?
One option of course is to move from SES to the open source version of Ceph. The open source version of Ceph is highly reliable and when migrated and configured correctly, it will provide you with most of the same experience as you are used to with SES. The technical difference is mainly in the deployment and management software, and less in the actual Ceph software. The biggest difference of course is that for support on the software (bugfixing), the future development (software roadmap) and possible customer specific solutions, you will have to rely on the Ceph community, instead of the enterprise support of SUSE. And as with all open source software it is advised to invest in software and/or infrastructure support.
But if you prefer enterprise software support (which until now you clearly sought with SUSE Enterprise Storage) we strongly recommend one of 2 options: migrate to a Canonical Ceph with Ubuntu Advantage or a Red Hat Enterprise Storage deployment. Both open source giants provide this kind of support by subscriptions. To qualify for this support, you will be required to migrate to the subsequent Ceph. You might seek help from these companies, take it on yourself or seek support from the Ceph experts at 42on.
Whichever deployment and software support option you choose, 42on can support your storage teams by operating, managing, migrating and troubleshooting your Ceph platforms; whether they are fully open source or ‘software supported’ by Red Hat or Canonical. With 24/7 support, emergency assistance, consultancy services, monitoring, daily checks and improvement services, we keep your environment healthy without you having to worry about it.
42on loves open source and especially Ceph. We help clients to adopt open source systems into their business models with the full support of our teams. What are your plans regarding these new developments around SUSE Enterprise Linux? Do you have a fourth or fifth option? Let me know in the comments, or let’s have a chat in a conference call.