SUSE, the Germany-based enterprise open-source software company, has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Californian container management firm Rancher Labs.
Rancher Labs is a fast-growing startup focused on Kubernetes and cloud-native storage that was founded in 2015. It offers three distinct Kubernetes products: RKE a platform-agnostic distribution that runs entirely in Docker containers; Rancher a Kubernetes management platform; and K3S is a lightweight distribution for the edge devices which it launched last year. It also offers a free Kubernetes training course called Rancher Academy.
SUSE dates back to 1992, when it was among the first companies to offer a commercial Linux distribution. It has since expanded into cloud application delivery and software defined infrastructure. In 2019 SUSE was sold by parent company Micro Focus to private equity firm EQT partners, and a short time later it dropped its previous collaboration with OpenStack to concentrate on its own application platform.
Container orchestration platform Kubernetes has rapidly become a core part of cloud native, containerised application delivery, an increasingly popular method for developing and deploying software at scale. With its experience in deplying Kubernetes in IoT devices as well as for large-scale deployments, Rancher is a good fit with its plans, Melissa Di Donato, SUSE CEO, said in a press release.
"This is an incredible moment for our industry, as two open source leaders are joining forces. The merger of a leader in Enterprise Linux, Edge Computing and AI with a leader in Enterprise Kubernetes Management will disrupt the market to help customers accelerate their digital transformation journeys."
Rancher Labs CEO Sheng Liang said: "Our leading Kubernetes platform with SUSE's broad open source software solutions 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 centre to cloud to edge."
Financial details of the deal, which is expected to close before the end of October 2020, were not provided by SUSE, but according to CNBC, insiders say SUSE will pay at least $600 million for Rancher Labs.
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