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May 09 2018

Red Hat and Microsoft Bring OpenShift to Azure

It's no secret that, historically speaking, the 'war' between proprietary and open source software has not only cost both factions are fortune, but was also instrumental in creating a whole mountain range of missed opportunities. Against this backdrop, it's always heartening to see the two camps come to terms and cooperate, as in this latest project, which was announced yesterday at the Red Hat Summit 2018 in San Francisco.

According to a joint press release, whose (identical) versions can be found here and here, the two companies are planning to "introduce the first jointly managed OpenShift offering in the public cloud, combining the power of Red Hat OpenShift, the industry's most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform, and Azure, Microsoft's public cloud." The decision was made in light of a recent Gartner prediction contending that by 2020, the chunk of global organizations running containerized applications in production environments will rise to over 50%, a massive boost from less than 20% today.1 Needless to say, both firms want to benefit from this trend: For Red Hat, cooperation is attractive because it could bring a boost to Red Hat's Kubernetes-based container platform OpenShift, while Microsoft hopes to substantially broaden its portfolio of Kubernetes-on-Azure offerings.

To achieve this and ensure the best possible service quality, the two firms will jointly engineer, manage and support the upcoming Red Hat Open Shift on Azure product and work to "reduce the complexity of container management for customers," the press release says. Enterprise developers are expected to benefit from increased flexibility, speed and productivity, as they will be able to freely move applications between on-premises environments and Azure servers in hybrid cloud installations, connect both realms faster and with enhanced security with so-called hybrid networking, and access other Azure-based services such as Cosmos DB, SQL, and machine learning. In addition, Microsoft-trained developers can now use tools like Visual Studio Enterprise and Visual Studio Professional and work with .NET and Java in a Red Hat (read: Linux) context.

Red Hat OpenShift on Azure will enter the preview phase over the coming months. Other Red Hat offerings – namely Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the OpenShift Container Platform – are already part of the Azure service portfolio.

[1] Cf. Gartner, Inc., Smarter with Gartner, “6 Best Practices for Creating a Container Platform Strategy,” Contributor: Christy Pettey, Oct. 31, 2017...


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