The discontinuing of SUSE Enterprise Storage (SES)
As you have probably heard by now, SUSE is discontinuing its Ceph-based storage product, SUSE Enterprise Storage (SES). A moment to stress? No. Instead of the open-source-based enterprise object storage platform, the enterprise Linux distributor is now opting for its own persistent storage application, Rancher Longhorn.
42on can help your migration from SUSE SES to Upstream Ceph go smoothly. Do you want to know more about the migration, especially the risks this has for universities? You can read about it in this blog.
- What is SUSE?
- What is SUSE used for?
- Why did SUSE make the decision to discontinue its Ceph-based storage product?
- What will change when the support stops?
- Why especially universities affected by this change?
- How does this proces of migrating to another platform look like?
What is SUSE?
SUSE is a company that offers enterprise-grade open source products based on Linux technologies. The company was originally based in Germany but is currently based in Luxembourg. Where it used to be one office when they started, they now have offices all over the world. SUSE offers multiple editions of its operating software to support different types of environments and workloads.
The first version of SUSE appeared in 1994. That makes SUSE one of the oldest and still existing commercial distributions. SUSE is also known for its YaST configuration tool. This tool has the capability to customize your system easily during and after the installation of SUSE. You can use the YaST tool to set up hardware and system services, configure the network and adjust your security settings.
What is SUSE used for?
SUSE provides software support for open-source solutions. It can be used in different processes within your open source infrastructure. A few examples of such processes are:
- Business-Critical Linux
This helps you with accelerating your digital transformation by allowing for the rapid instantiation of resources and scaling of enterprise applications. The benefit of this is that it reduces costs, improves operational efficiency, and delivers new services faster. SUSE’s business-critical Linux solutions maximize interoperability between environments, simplify their management, and deliver best-in-class security.
- Runs SAP solutions
SUSE also helps with running SAP solutions. SAP is an enterprise resource planning (ERP). It creates a central system for organisations where it enables everyone in the company to have access to and share data with each other. SUSE enables your SAP systems to deliver uninterrupted access to business insights and improve time to market for new services. The 20 years of co-innovation with SAP makes SUSE the leading and trusted open-source platform for SAP solutions.
- Enterprise container management
SUSE Rancher is used for container management and addresses the operational and security challenges of managing multiple Kubernetes clusters across any infrastructure. It also provides DevOps teams with integrated tools for running containerized workloads.
- Edge computing solutions
SUSE edge solutions deliver consistency, performance, reliability, security and the highest standards of support – all of which are vitally essential elements in edge computing environments.
- SUSE public cloud solutions
SUSE Linux Enterprise, SUSE Rancher and NeuVector help organizations accelerate their digital transformation by simplifying their cloud adoption strategy and building new, providing Zero Trust security across your cloud-native environment, and helping you deliver applications faster than the competition.
SUSE Linux Enterprise is the only Linux OS to achieve the highest level of security and cryptographic certification. Their “certify once, use many” approach means that SLE’s market-leading security posture is inherited by all its derivatives – from SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) to SLE Micro to SLE BCI. You can also add SUSE Manager for consistent patch management and to avoid configuration drift.
Why did SUSE make the decision to discontinue its Ceph-based storage product?
In 2020, SUSE acquired Rancher Labs, a Kubernetes management software vendor. Shortly afterwards they decided to stop the SES support. While at the same time putting their focus on containers.
According to SUSE, the move to discontinue SUSE enterprise storage (SES), is prompted by the increasing use of containers in IT environments. This means that future storage extensions, such as SES acting for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) will mainly focus on applications around containers. The Ceph-based SES then falls of, which brings us to the crux of why the support will stop.
What will change when the support stops?
The biggest change is that there will be no more support on SUSE enterprise storage (SES). This means that this particular storage solution is not supported by SUSE anymore. However, SES is a solution based on Ceph. If you like SES as a solution, you might consider to migrate from SES to Ceph and subscribe for Ceph support from a third party vendor.
You can read more specific migration options in a blog we wrote about this through the following link: https://www.42on.com/migration-options-for-suse-enterprise-storage-ses-users/
In our experience, users are very satisfied with the SUSE operating system (OS) and often maintain their OS from SUSE, even after the migration from SUSE SES to Ceph.
Why are especially universities affected by this change?
SUSE SES is widely used among universities and research institutes. It is a successful product for these organizations because it offers them many possibilities and opportunities. You can read more about the future of universities with an OpenStack here.
However, migrating your storage to another solution can always be risky when you have no experience. Complex problems can arise that require an expert to help you.
How does this process of migrating to another platform look like?
As described above, companies may experience problems or difficulties when transferring storage to another platform. This process can be complex and is best implemented by someone with expertise. To start of with this process, it is important to have a healthy and well performing SES environment and to have a test environment ready where you can test your new storage instances.
At 42on we have a standard process to help organizations do the migration. Such a process often consists of the phases and tasks as listed below.
Phase 0: Testing
This is the preparatory phase in which it becomes clear what the migration will look like. This phase consists of 3 specific parts:
- Create a test cluster
- Migrate test cluster using Cephadm
- Document specific migration steps SES → Cephadm/Octopus
Phase 1: Update SES
The first steps are taken in this phase. Where SES will be fully updated so that it is ready to be migrated.
- Update the production cluster to the latest patch level
- Restart all nodes
Phase 2: Install prerequisites
In this phase the nodes will be prepared to be migrated.
- Install Cephadm on all nodes
- Prepare all nodes
- Phase 3: Convert and upgrade cluster
- In phase 3, the migration is carried out.
- Migrate production cluster using Cephadm
Phase 3: Convert and upgrade cluster
In phase 3, the migration is carried out.
- Migrate production cluster using Cephadm
Phase 4: Migrate SES OS to the latest version of SLES
In the final phase, we will update to the latest version of SLES
- Convert/redeploy host OS to SLES
What can 42on do for your organization?
42on is an organisation specialized in working with open source and Ceph. In conclusion, SUSE SES is a successful product and widely used among universities. Unfortunately, SUSE SES pulled the plug with the end-of-life on the SES project.
However, universities, research centres and other companies that use SES are not alone. We are more than happy to help with the migration itself, support the migration and consult on your migration options. Whichever deployment and software support option you choose, 42on can support your storage teams by operating, managing, migrating and troubleshooting your Ceph platforms.
Contact us to discuss the possibilities and look for a solution together.