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View Full Version : SuSE Manager - Open Source, so why pay for it?



ashbrook
21-Feb-2013, 16:37
I am an administrator in a UK local authority. We are deploying several SLES11 servers on VMware platform. You can imagine that it will be cumbersome to manage them all, so I am looking at centralised management systems, and saw SuSE Manager. I have already deployed Subscription Management Tool for registrations and online update management.

I am not interested in SuSE Manage with the embedded Oracle database, so would use the PostgreSQL database option. So, simple question: As SuSE Manager has a GPL2 license, what are SuSE charging an annual fee for - why can't I just install and use the software without a server and per-client subscription.

kwk
22-Feb-2013, 10:03
I am not interested in SuSE Manage with the embedded Oracle database, so would use the PostgreSQL database option. So, simple question: As SuSE Manager has a GPL2 license, what are SuSE charging an annual fee for - why can't I just install and use the software without a server and per-client subscription.

For all open source SUSE products (like SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, SUSE Manager, etc.), you are not paying a license fee but a subscription fee. The subscription is for maintenance (security fixes, bug fixes, feature updates) and support (you can contact SUSE in case of problems or questions).

The software itself is open source and you're free to use it as-is. However, without a subscription you will not be able to access and download updates, and you have to rely on self- or community-support in case of problems. So if someone hacks your SUSE Manager instance because you didn't install the latest security fixes, its your responsibility.

Btw, all changes SUSE did to the upstream project Spacewalk (https://fedorahosted.org/spacewalk) are included in the Spacewalk code.

Hth,

Klaus

ashbrook
08-Mar-2013, 10:19
Hello Klaus,
Thanks for the reply. I suspected that the payment is for updates etc. However, with the problems in UK Public Services now, we do not have the finances to buy into add-on packages, so must use free/Open Source products where possible.

For updates, I will just have to upgrade whenever SuSE release a public update or service pack release. I am also looking at how to install SuSE Manager from the packages in the repositories, rather than from the .iso appliance image. Does anyone have any notes on this procedure? Anyone else installed this method?

kwk
09-Mar-2013, 16:17
Hello Klaus,
Thanks for the reply. I suspected that the payment is for updates etc. However, with the problems in UK Public Services now, we do not have the finances to buy into add-on packages, so must use free/Open Source products where possible.

Well, you still need to maintain a service, fix bugs, plug security holes, do compliance audits, etc. The difference between closed and open source is that you can do all this by yourself for the latter. But it needs an investment of time and training. With a SUSE Manager subscription, SUSE takes care of the maintenance and helps you in case of trouble.



For updates, I will just have to upgrade whenever SuSE release a public update or service pack release.

There are no public releases of SUSE Manager.


I am also looking at how to install SuSE Manager from the packages in the repositories, rather than from the .iso appliance image. Does anyone have any notes on this procedure? Anyone else installed this method?

There's also no public package repository for SUSE Manager, only the client packages are availabe.

However, there's an effort within the openSUSE community to package Spacewalk for openSUSE. You might want to contribute back to open source and support this effort.

ashbrook
10-Jan-2014, 11:54
There is one other difference, which I've recently discovered, between subscribed Suse Manager and unsubscribed Suse Manager. Unless one pays for Suse Manager subscriptions, it is limited to managing 10 systems. This is not documented very well, and I had to ask around for confirmation of this limit.
Given the cuts in public sector in the UK at the moment, and the need to drive down bottom-line costs, I now need to try Spacewalk as we simply cannot buy subscriptions.

kwk
13-Jan-2014, 09:10
Subscriptions are like an insurance. What's the cost of running your datacenter without such an insurance and some problem brings the datacenter down ?