For the past couple of days, the internet has been full of news about Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and SUSE Linux. Some people erroneously thought that HPE has purchased SUSE. This article will set the record straight.
HPE did not buy anything. In fact, they sold off some of their software to a UK software company named Micro Focus. HPE referred to the move as a “spin-merge” where Micro Focus will receive what HPE considers its non-core software assets. HPE is making this move so that they can focus on networking, storage, and data centers. HPE will own 50.1% of the new, larger company. The action is valued at $8.8 billion.
SUSE was brought up because Micro Focus has owned that distro since 2014. SUSE is one of the three largest Linux distros. HPE did announce that SUSE would be their preferred Linux partner.
This last announcement is what has lead many to think that HPE was acquiring SUSE. Some seemed to think that SUSE could become HPE’s “house-blend Linux to better serve its long-term hardware infrastructure and cloud goals“. Others disagree.
Bob Cringely has been writing about the computing industry for over thirty years and former Apple employee. When I asked him about HPE and SUSE, he told me the following:
“I get it that SUSE is baked into the deal but I doubt that HPE will simply ignore Red Hat, though, as a consequence… Their (HPE) job is fulfilling customer requirements not pushing particular solutions. If HPE wants to be successful they’ll give customers whatever they want and more customers want Red Hat than want SUSE, simple as that. They’ll support BOTH. And while you see this Micro Focus sale as somehow pushing them toward SUSE it actually does the opposite because it frees HPE from its own software legacies, now sold.”
(I should note here that HP has their own spin of Linux named hLinux.)
In my mind, this deal will be very beneficial for HPE in the long run. Now, HPE will be able to focus on three core service areas: networking, storage, and data centers. Focus equals better quality. Scope creep has destroyed many a company and project.
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