Linux distributor SUSE has entered an agreement to acquire enterprise Kubernetes management tooling provider Rancher Labs. Financial details on the deal haven’t been made public yet, though the companies hope to complete the transaction by the end of October 2020.
Benefits for the company itself include access to SUSE’s global customer base, while SUSE might take a page or two out of Rancher’s playbook to advance its CaaS platform.
According to Rancher CEO Sheng Liang, the combination of both organisations is driven by the firm’s “vision to enable better futures and measurable value for our customers and partners”.
Both companies also seem to have a keen interest in supporting the increasingly sought-after edge computing use cases and work with respective customers in diverse industries and regions. Coupling efforts in this area could therefore be beneficial to address challenges for these scenarios more efficiently.
However, what the added value for Rancher’s core user base will look like or if they’ll have to put up with Rancher tech just being merged into SUSE offerings isn’t completely clear yet.
“In the short term, of course, it’s business as usual” Liang wrote to DevClass regarding this. “We’re at the start of a journey that will take some time and so, until the deal is closed, we continue to focus on our customers in the same way we always have. Longer term, as one company, we will remain focused on delivering value and look carefully at where we can deliver the most impact. What customers can be sure of is this is the merging of two genuinely innovative product portfolios.”
In a newsletter aimed at Rancher users, the company also wrote that both parties’ developers “will collaborate on innovative open source solutions to accelerate the pace of innovation and bring better choice to the market”. Rancher’s leadership will meanwhile be taking “strategic roles” throughout SUSE. Liang, for example, is said to start leading “the combined engineering and innovation organization at SUSE”.
Since both companies have a history in open source, chances are there won’t be much change in that area, a sentiment that both Liang and SUSE CEO Melissa Di Donato emphasised in their respective statements. Rancher even goes as far as stating that its open source solutions “will be at the heart of how we deliver container management and enable organizations to accelerate their cloud native journey”.
Which still leaves users with the option to fork and leave, should things go awry – if they’re willing to say goodbye to managed services, that is.