SUSECON24 – Return of the Flex!

Regular readers of this blog with long memories might be having feelings of deja-vu upon reading the title of this blog. And those feelings might well be justified – if I cast my mind back to roughly a year ago, I was lucky enough to co-present to a packed room in a breakout session during SUSECON23. The reason for this was to jointly present a session with SUSE where we discussed joint solutions between the two companies and provided a sneak preview of what was happening at that time in the Dell PowerFlex Solutions labs – you can read that post here: .

Clearly, the session last year was well received and hence I was delighted to be asked to return to SUSECON24 and help with yet another breakout session this year. Dell Technologies are in the fortunate position of being a Cornerstone sponsor of SUSECON, which means that we get the privilege of being able to highlight the collaboration between SUSE and Dell on a number of topics that are top of mind to our joint customers, such as Edge, HCI and AI. In the Technology Showcase floor, the Dell kiosk was showcasing 4 key topics – the first covered the future of Telecommunications with Dell and SUSE ATIP, while the second covered SAP RISE on Dell APEX, showing how the AI revolution is changing the S/4HANA landscape. Edge is a key topic at the minute, so Dell NativeEdge using Longhorn/K3s was highlighted, while the fourth area was the reason for my involvement – we are seeing a lot of customer interest in environments that allow both VMs and Containers to run together effectively, and this is where SUSE Harvester is such a great solution. Harvester really does make running VMs and containers together so simple and easy to manage. Clearly, this is also an area where the integration of SUSE Harvester and Dell PowerFlex has seen lots of collaboration and was the reason why I was invited to attend SUSECON again this year.

Having initially showcased an early demonstration of SUSE Harvester 1.2 with Dell PowerFlex at SUSECON23, there has been a ton of work happening behind the scenes over the past year, as both companies work together on providing a solution that highlights the benefits of both products. Indeed, when I teamed up with Gerson Guevara, the SUSE Global Architect aligned with Dell last year, to present SUSE Harvester on Dell PowerFlex to a packed technical breakout session, little did we know that we would be back one year later. However, this year, we were joined by Shashi Chidambara, from the Dell PowerFlex Product Group, highlighting the importance that Dell places on these collaborative efforts with SUSE.

SUSECON24 – At The Dell Kiosk. From Left to Right – Myself, Gerson Guevara (SUSE Global Architect), Shashi Chidambara (Dell PowerFlex Product Group)

By the way – the Key Note Sessions at SUSECON24 were fantastic and very informative. Notable highlights for me included the announcement of SUSE.AI, the incredible importance of SUSE Liberty Linux now that the end of CentOS 7 is just days away, plus their announcement of their acquisition of StackState. You can find more details of these announcements (and more) via the official SUSE sources. I also attended the SUSE “Partners-Only” Keynote session on the Tuesday afternoon, during which Dell was awarded the “Embedded Innovation 2024” partner award. The theme of giving customers choice – “Choice Happens” – was consistently highlighted throughout all of these sessions.

So, once again, I was able to contribute to a breakout session titled “Leveraging the Power of SUSE Harvester & Dell PowerFlex : A Unified Approach to Infrastructure Management”, only this time, I was part of a three-man tag team! Gerson & Shashi handled the presentation slides, while I took the microphone through a Demo that showed how easy it is to deploy VMs on SUSE Harvester 1.3 using Dell PowerFlex storage, as well as longhorn storage, for the same VM. It was clear from the feedback in the packed room that SUSE customers love the simplicity of Harvester and have a number of use cases where provisioning PVCs via a PowerFlex Storage Class makes perfect sense. As an example, customers that wish to mix VMs and containers on the same platform may find that they have a few VMs that are running legacy databases or analytics workloads that simply will not hit SLAs without being able to make use of a storage tier that provides consistent sub millisecond response times or provide performance levels that a small longhorn cluster, limited by the 8-node Harvester cluster maximum, may simply not be able to match. This is where such a solution really makes sense.

SUSECON24 – Scene From the “SUSE Harvester with Dell PowerFlex” Breakout Session
SUSECON24 – I Have Never Been Known For Standing Still – Working The Audience….!!!

With the Breakout Session successfully completed, I was then able to spend time talking to a range of attendees at SUSECON to hear what is top of their mind. I always find it interesting to hear from potential customers and people with business problems that are looking for solutions. I was also introduced to several members of the various SUSE Engineering Teams, and cannot help but be impressed by their focus on working on solutions that solve customer challenges. Their buy-in is important as we continue to work together on making sure that we iron out the remaining bumps that need to be overcome to bring this joint solution (SUSE Harvester on Dell PowerFlex) to market.

In the meantime, may I remind you dear reader that there are a plethora of other solutions that combine SUSE products and Dell PowerFlex, many of which I described in my previous blog post. It is worth pointing out yet again that Dell and SUSE have been working together for many years now and have created a ton of jointly-authored Whitepapers and Solutions together. As an example, one of these White Papers describes how to deploy SUSE Rancher clusters with PowerFlex and then protect those systems using Dell PowerProtect Data Manager. This and other Dell PowerFlex Whitepapers can be found on Dell Infohub – link here .

With that said, I will bring todays blog to a close by thanking the awesome Dell Alliances Team at SUSE for hosting me once again. Watch this space for more details regarding the ongoing integration of Dell PowerFlex with SUSE Harvester – I look forward to announcing more details when I am allowed to!