Suse, Red Hat, IBM, SAP: It's Linux Versus Linux Now
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Suse, Red Hat, IBM, SAP: It’s Linux Versus Linux Now

IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat poses a lot of questions for customers, experts and journalists alike. SAP customers are curious about one topic in particular: Which company has the better Linux for SAP - Suse or Red Hat?

Undoubtedly, the answer to who has the better Linux can only be Suse. The European company has been with SAP since the beginning. Red Hat has been sleeping on the SAP enterprise business for a long time, but it is catching up now. In the course of an internal meeting in North America, Red Hat managers have emphasized their wish to work more closely with SAP. If this wish was influenced by IBM could not be verified.

Consequently, this creates a complex situation and entanglement of relationships. On the one hand, IBM does not like SAP all that much, because the leading ERP provider forces the IBM enterprise data base DB2 out of the SAP community with its Hana data base. On the other hand, IBM has been very successfully selling its Power servers for Hana. However, these servers run on Suse Linux, which is the better Linux variant at the moment.

Now, IBM has decided to acquire Red Hat, meaning that SAP customers can expect interesting package deals consisting of Power and Red Hat. Worldwide, SAP customers will have to opt for Hana and simultaneously for the tried and tested IBM server Power – but now with Red Hat Linux.

What can SAP do?

SAP has two options now: it can chose to bury its head in the sand – or it could acquire Suse Linux, just like IBM did with Red Hat. There is also another way, but one that not everyone can get on board with. For Hana, there is from now on either Power plus Red Hat or Xeon plus Suse. However, this would require that Intel takes over Suse – something that does not seem very likely.

Maybe Microsoft acquires Suse? The Windows company has explained many times before that 40 percent of all MS cloud Azure applications run on Linux. Whoever is familiar with the company’s history knows that almost all of these are Suse installations. As of now, Microsoft still stands by Red Hat, which will be part of IBM soon enough, however.

There is a solution: Red Hat Linux will become the preferred system for IBM Power – and Suse Linux for Microsoft Azure.

E-3 Magazine December 2018/January 2019 (German)

About the author

Peter M. Färbinger, Editor-in-Chief

Peter M. Färbinger is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher at E-3 Magazine, AG, Munich, Germany. He can be reached at

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