Microsoft-Red Hat Pact Takes Shape with Managed OpenShift on Azure

A preview of Red Hat OpenShift on Azure will be released "in the coming months," Microsoft said this week in a progress report on its collaboration efforts with Red Hat.

Red Hat OpenShift is a container application platform that uses Docker container technology and Google Kubernetes container orchestration for clusters. Microsoft and Red Hat are collaborating to bring the platform to Microsoft's Azure public datacenters.

They also plan to "jointly manage the solution for customers." The support will include infrastructure, the orchestrator, the operating system and the containerized applications.

"As a fully managed service, it [Red Hat OpenShift on Azure] will be kept up-to-date, with a single unified bill, integrated support experience, and in all respects a native Azure service," explained Brendan Burns, a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer for the Azure Container Service," in an Azure blog post.

Burns noted that Red Hat OpenShift on Azure uses the "same Kubernetes engine that powers Azure Kubernetes Service, making it easier to scale clusters."

The companies are promising that Red Hat OpenShift on Azure will allow organizations to "freely move applications between on-premises environments and Azure," which is the so-called "hybrid" approach. Developers also will be able to tap various Azure services, such as "Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Machine Learning and Azure SQL DB." They can find such services using the Open Service Broker for Azure, which works with Red Hat OpenShift on Azure and Azure Stack, Burns explained.

The Tuesday announcement came as part of the Red Hat Summit that's ongoing in San Francisco, where Red Hat OpenShift on Azure was demonstrated. The announcement isn't exactly a surprise, as both companies had described their collaboration on a number of related projects last August.

Back then, it was explained that Red Hat OpenShift would get Windows Server Container support in the spring of 2018. That element has reached the preview phase, according to a Tuesday Red Hat announcement. In addition, the companies had promised back in August that Red Hat's OpenShift Dedicated container platform as a service would get supported on Azure in early 2018. Also promised back then was support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Azure Stack, along with SQL Server on Linux support.

The Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform is currently available on Azure and Azure Stack. And that's also true for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, according to the announcement.

Red Hat is still working to verify SQL Server on Linux as a certified container for Red Hat OpenShift on Azure and the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform "across the hybrid cloud, including Azure Stack," the announcement indicated.

The two companies are also promising a perk for developers using Microsoft's integrated development environment products. Subscribers to Visual Studio Professional or Visual Studio Enterprise will be getting Red Hat Enterprise Linux credits, the announcement indicated, although it didn't describe the details.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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