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SUSECon 2013 day 1 – a keynote to remember

The first day of SUSECon is under way, with breakout sessions still running after a fantastic keynote showing off the partnerships and technology that SUSE powers

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Its been a busy couple of days down in Florida, as SUSECon has slowly gotten into full swing. Yesterday, under the spell of jet lag, we almost fell asleep writing our short round-up article. Today though, we’re raring to go, starting things off with a two hour keynote from Nils Brauckmann, Chris Hallenback and Jim Wasko.

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The clam before the storm

We live tweeted the event, and you can follow along the timeline for that on Storify.

Michael Miller, Vice President of Global Alliances & Marketing for SUSE, started off proceedings talking about the huge response to last years SUSECon. Attendee feedback was positive, however they asked to be able to attend more sessions, resulting in an extra day added the roster, and fewer sessions running in parallel. Overall, there are 10% more attendees over last year, 17% more sessions, 34% more presenters and 47% more hours of content.

After detailing what to expect from the rest of the conference, Miller handed over to Nils Brauckmann, Preisdent and General Manager of SUSE. Brauckmann tells us how SUSE is extremely adaptable, which has led to unprecedented growth for the company. 22% increase in bookings, 27% growth in SLES and its add-ons and 19,000 active customers have led the company to be profitable. The majority of Linux systems on IBM system Z and SAP are running SUSE.

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Brauckmann tells us how SUSE has grown over the past year

Brauckmann got to the major point of his talk – the unfortunate state of IT in enterprise. Recent figures show that, while IT are reporting to CFOs, a large percentage of these CFOs don’t believe that IT is strategic to their business. IT is losing control of their deparrtments. This is where SUSE comes in, offering open source solutions that they believe can bring control back to the IT department thanks to the innovation they can bring.

He rounded off his talk talking about the recently released Cloud 2.0, the new Solid Driver program that certifies modules and drivers to work with SUSE and announcing a move to a longer product support life cycle. He then handed over to Chris Hallenback, Global Vice President, SAP Americas, Data Warehouse Solutions & HANA Platform, a company that SUSE have made an important relationship with.

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Chris Hallenback explained exactly what SAP HANA is

Hallenback started off by trying to explain just how important SAP is. The vast majority of coffee, chocolate, beer, shoe, car, motorcycle and other companies and industries use SAP somewhere in the process, essential to keeping them running and producing. SAP has proved open source to a number of companies, and have, in his own words, make CIOs and CTOs relevant again. SAP is now looking at analytics, which has become as much about prediction as it has about record keeping, and the current trend in IT for real-time computing. In this vein, SAP HANA with SUSE have managed to make leaps and bounds in data speeds.

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Openness drives standards, according to Wasko

After Hallenback finished, we heard from Jim Wasko, Director Linux Technology Centre at IBM. He told us about the history of LTC, how it started having to learn to work with the community and how it does a lot more than just Linux-based work. Openness is the key for them, and the partnership with SUSE saw them using it first on their original Linux machines. He went on to talk about how various solutions can be used by various companies, with success stories as examples.

Miller returned to wrap up the keynote, although not before asking us what the chameleon says. This sums up the atmosphere here at SUSECon – everyone, while extremely professional, are also here to have a good time and help further the cause of Linux and open source through the community.