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Microsoft, Red Hat Go Live with Azure OpenShift Collaboration

After a lengthy development process, Microsoft and Red Hat this week announced the general availability of their Azure Red Hat OpenShift service.

The two companies first described their collaboration on this project last year, before the product had even hit preview. This week's general availability announcement means organizations can now use Red Hat OpenShift and Kubernetes for container orchestration on Azure "cloud" datacenter infrastructure for applications.

Microsoft is touting the service's "hybrid" benefits, or the ability to leverage cloud services and on-premises infrastructure. For instance, it's possible to use this Azure service with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform implementations housed in customer datacenters.

Service Details
The Azure Red Hat OpenShift service is a fully managed service with a 99.9 percent service-level agreement. Pricing is described at this page.

Management support for Azure Red Hat OpenShift comes from "both Microsoft and Red Hat." It'll handle things like patching, disaster recovery and even Azure Active Directory integration, according to this blog post by Brendan Burns, Distinguished Microsoft Engineer for Microsoft Azure:

Because this is a fully managed service, there are no VMs for you to manage. Patching, upgrading, repair, and disaster recovery are all handled for you as part of the service. This management leaves your application DevOps teams free to focus on operating your applications and not the underlying infrastructure. Likewise, core security technologies like Azure Active Directory are automatically integrated into the OpenShift's Kubernetes-based control plane so that all the enterprise policies around two-factor access, geo-location, and more automatically apply to people deploying and managing software in your cluster.

The service is currently supported in the following Azure regions: U.S. East and West, Canada Central and East, Europe North and West, and Australia East, according to Microsoft's FAQ page on Azure Red Hat OpenShift.

Red Hat Summit News
The general availability announcement of Azure Red Hat OpenShift comes amid this week's Red Hat Summit event. Red Hat had lots of news to share from its event.

Red Hat announced Hat OpenShift 4, which has a new OperatorHub for automating complex tasks. Red Hat also announced that Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions will be using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8. This open source Linux-based operating system just became generally available.

On the Microsoft collaboration front, the Red Hat Insights management solution is getting improvements for protecting Microsoft SQL Server running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It'll alert IT pros to nonconforming configurations and offer automated tuning and security features. In addition, the two companies partnered on the open source Kubernetes-based event-driven autoscaling (KEDA) solution, which lets any container scale up based on "event metrics like the length of a Kafka stream or an Azure Queue," according to Microsoft's announcement. In addition, the Azure Functions serverless service can now be integrated with Red Hat OpenShift at the preview phase, and it'll work with KEDA.

"Using KEDA, we enabled Azure Functions on top of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform in Developer Preview designed to behave the same way it does when running on Azure as a managed service, but now running anywhere OpenShift runs, which means on the hybrid cloud and on-premises," Red Hat explained in its announcement.

There's also a new Red Hat Universal Base Image that adds greater portability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux container images. Red Hat Smart Management was enhanced for hybrid deployments of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, getting vulnerability management, compliance management and system comparison capabilities.

Red Hat is reporting that more than 1,000 enterprises are currently using the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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