B1 Systems took part in the OpenStack Cloud project from an early stage. What was the motivation at that point in time?
Ralph Dehner: A little more than three years ago, we started to pursue an interest in OpenStack. The demand for a Cloud solution of that kind was expressed in
customer projects, time and time again. In 2011, it was us that programmed the first patch. Since then, we are actively participating in the OpenStack development.
More and more of the IT heavyweights are jumping onto the OpenStack bandwagon. What do you say to that?
Dehner: It seems as though there is hardly anyone left who dares not to support OpenStack. To be frank: I would not have thought that, at some point in time, an OpenStack boom like this would develop. It would be desirable that the producers do not use (exploit) the community in order to drive the end-users into a certain dependency, and that IT heavyweights remain as close as they can to the OpenStack standard.
B1 and Suse are linked by many years of partnership. How does this manifest itself in the Suse OpenStack Cloud?
Dehner: As is also the case in other areas, e.g. SAP operating on Linux, we have been collaborating with Suse for over ten years, closely and successfully. In the past, OpenStack packets for SLES/openSuse were cultivated in parallel by B1 Systems and by Suse. To reduce the workload involved here, we reached agreement on a uniform repository, a factor that underscores the close nature of the partnership. Suse makes avail of our specialists, also on Suse Cloud projects or on training activities, or respectively we actually run such activities.
In which way does B1 Systems support customers in their Suse Cloud implementation? As you see it, to what extent do customers benefit from Suse Cloud, the Cloud IaaS solution?
Dehner: Like for other open-source topics in which we have specialised, with our more than 60 staff, in the case of Suse Cloud or respectively in that of OpenStack, we offer consulting, training, development and support. Many enquiries come from customers who are already using OpenStack and lacking a particular function or who are perhaps also affected by a bug. We are then assigned with putting in place a solution or with programming a patch. What we observe is that more and more companies are aiming to transfer their IT operation into a Private Cloud environment. For Private Cloud use, what is needed is solutions such as Suse Cloud, which we then implement in customer projects.