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Buyer's Guide
Configuration Management
September 2022
Get our free report covering Red Hat, Red Hat, Amazon, and other competitors of SUSE Manager. Updated: September 2022.
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Senior Technical Marketing Manager at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Easy to deploy, offers embedded monitoring, and is very stable
Pros and Cons
  • "When it comes to managing both Red Hat and SUSE environments, it provides the support for live patching, which is something I really, really appreciate."
  • "I really would like to have a broader library of VCP's or playbooks that I can deploy."

What is our primary use case?

I'm a freelancer and I have a number of customers and I need to patch their systems. The beauty of SUSE Manager is that it supports different Linux systems such as Red Hat and SentOS, SLES, and Ubuntu.

What is most valuable?

When it comes to managing both Red Hat and SUSE environments, it provides the support for live patching, which is something I really, really appreciate.

The other thing that I use a lot as well is embedded monitoring. You can use these cool tools that you use in the cloud, such as Grafana Prometheus, to do monitoring of your system. 

Actually deploying stuff is quite easy.

What needs improvement?

I really would like to have a broader library of VCP's or playbooks that I can deploy. That's the only thing I would sometimes really need. I'd like a proper code library.

I would like to see some AI or machine learning or some mechanism that can predict my potential errors. For instance, if I'm running out of a space in my server X maybe it can raise an alert and tell me, "with the current consumption of a storage in the server in 10 days, you're going to run out of space." 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution since April of 2021.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's quite stable. Usually, even though I manage different customers and I have sometimes connectivity problems with the VPN, I haven't had to reboot the system or the services whatsoever. I'm quite happy with that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I can't really speak to the scalability. I don't have a big environment. I have multiple small environments and I can connect easily to any of them, therefore, I'm happy.

I would increase my users if my customers added more servers, which may happen. I'm based in Spain and usually, the fiscal year tends to start in January and people are getting more money for the first quarter. I may get some servers for my customers or add some more customers to my list. I don't know if that will happen or not.

How are customer service and support?

I only opened a case when I did the update. They pointed me to the documentation and I felt silly as I could have also found that on the website without them. Beyond that, I didn't need to open any cases, which is good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I also deal with Ansible and Salt. What I have are those solutions embedded into SUSE Manager as SUSE Manager supports both Salt and Ansible with the latest release. That was my driver to include 4.2 in my roadmap instead of just sticking with 4.1. I'd say that SUSE Manager goes beyond configuration management. Sometimes I also use Ansible as a standalone to string some VMs to the cloud and so on. That's great. However, my traditional configurations with Salt or Ansible are just not enough, which is why I also have SUSE.

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the initial setup process, I inherited the solution from someone who just passed over the business for me. I did not need to set it up. However, in relation to the maintenance process, I had to deploy one as we had this migration from SUSE Manager 4.1 to 4.2. It's not an initial setup. I had to spin another 4.2 box and then I migrated the content of my 4.1 environment to my 4.2 environment. It was quite smooth. The documentation was quite nice. I just followed the steps and I had no problems.

What was our ROI?

I haven't done an ROI evaluation yet as we have this new pricing model. What I can say is the savings are going to be good as it's not the same to deal with one tool as opposed to dealing with three tools. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I don't have the exact cost on hand right now as that's something I tend to negotiate in my new year. Thus far, I didn't pay for it. That's going to happen mid-January or something like that. What I was told, by the person who had it before me was that when he made the comparison with other tools, it was cheaper due to the fact that now I basically have the SUSE Manager to manage all environments. In the past, he had Spacewalk to manage the SUSE stuff, and then he had Satellite to manage the record stuff and he had Landscape to manage the Ubuntu stuff. When he consolidated everything, he saved a lot of money.

One of the biggest benefits would be that it incorporates multiple managers in one platform saving you on licensing for multiple solutions. That said, at this time, I don't even know how much it's going to cost as they've changed the pricing this year. I got an email back in the summer saying that, in the past, I would pay for the server and then all the clients. Now, I don't have to pay for the server and then the clients anymore. I just have a flat fare where I can deploy as many servers as I want and everything will be included at the same price. 

The reality is that the server that I'm using right now is only 12 GBs of RAM and I'm considering doing an upgrade to 24GBs. When you include more functionalities and more features, you certainly need more resources. For me, the hardware would be the only real additional cost.

What other advice do I have?

I am a SUSE partner. 

I have a central server and then I'm connected to the VPN. That way, I can connect to all different customers.

I'd advise new users to certainly read the documentation, as that's what I tend to skip. However, it's an important step. Try to automate as much as you can. One of the most powerful things that I noticed when I arrived, was that it was underutilized, and there are all of these automation capabilities that SUSE Manager has. It's saved just so much time for me.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
Configuration Management
September 2022
Get our free report covering Red Hat, Red Hat, Amazon, and other competitors of SUSE Manager. Updated: September 2022.
634,550 professionals have used our research since 2012.