Rancher rides off into the SUSE-set after acquisition by Linux outfit

OpenShift and Tanzu get a familiar-looking competitor


SUSE has decided to buy Kubernetes-wrangler Rancher Labs.

As Rancher is privately held neither party is discussing money. What we can say is that SUSE believes its expertise in enterprise Linux, AI and edge computing will benefit from Rancher’s Kubernetes management stack. And Rancher likes the idea of having more resources to plough into its wares.

When that’s all boiled down into press releases we get Rancher CEO Sheng Liang saying the combined entity “creates a powerful combination, enabling IT and Operations leaders worldwide to best meet the needs of their customers wherever they are on their digital transformation journey from the data center to cloud to edge.”

If you can take any more of that, SUSE CEO Melissa Di Donato’s canned quote says the combined companies “will have the depth of a globally supported and 100% true open source portfolio, including cloud native technologies, to help our customers seamlessly innovate across their business from the edge to the core to the cloud.”

The Register imagines that the companies’ respective PR teams probably didn’t ever draft the following: “With Red Hat now backed by IBM and its OpenShift K8s stack doing rather nicely, and VMware using all its muscle and Dell connections to push its Tanzu K8s offering, both SUSE and Rancher risked being left behind. This transaction keeps them both in the game and hopefully capable of catching the containerisation and K8s waves.”

An off-the-record comment from an industry analyst to The Register suggested the deal is a good one for Rancher, which otherwise faced the possibility of being hoovered up by a minor K8s player like Cisco or NetApp that would have bought it to bolster thin efforts that would have little chance of long-term success. As a SUSE deal puts Rancher amidst a recognisably useful combination of technologies, the latter’s K8s tech has a better chance of thriving. ®


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