Microsoft goes all in on containers in the cloud with extended Red Hat partnership

Red Hat and Microsoft recently updated their enterprise alliance with a host of new integrations that could make it easier for enterprise users to adopt containers.

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Microsoft and Red Hat are extending their enterprise partnership in an effort to make it easier for customers to adopt and deploy container technology. According to a Tuesday press release, this will include native support for Windows Server containers on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated on Microsoft Azure, and SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift.

The support for Windows Server containers on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform aims to simplify some of the complexity that comes from trying to deploy DevOps in environments that utilize both Windows and Linux platforms, the release said.

With this support, Red Hat OpenShift will become the first Kubernetes-based platform that can support Linux and Windows Server container workloads in a single platform, the release said. That can help eliminate some of the silos that often exist in these heterogeneous environments. This integration will be available in preview in spring 2018.

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Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated is essentially a Container platform as a Service. By offering OpenShift Dedicated on Azure, customers can utilize the container platform without having to invest a ton of resources in managing it, as Red Hat handles that on its end. This will be available sometime in early 2018.

"Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated on Microsoft Azure allows enterprise IT teams to focus on delivering business value and fostering innovation rather than keeping the lights on and micro-managing resources," the release said.

For hybrid cloud environments, support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux workloads is also coming to Azure Stack, Microsoft's on-premises version of Azure. Because Azure Stack runs on certified hardware, this gives IT more control over the infrastructure to maintain compliance or other standards.

Additionally, SQL Server will be available on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift in the next few months. This follows the announcement of .NET Core 2.0 as a container in OpenShift, and furthers the two firms' efforts in cloud-native infrastructure support, the release said.

"Microsoft and Red Hat are aligned in our commitment to bring enterprise customers the hybrid cloud solutions they need to modernize their businesses as they shift to operate in a cloud-native world," John Gossman, lead Azure architect at Microsoft, said in the release. "Today, we're extending this commitment as we again join forces to bring fully interoperable solutions that simplify container adoption and help customers make the most of their hybrid cloud strategies."

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Microsoft and Red Hat have extended their alliance to offer new integrations and make container adoption easier in the enterprise.
  2. Support for Windows Server containers on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, for example, could help break down silos present in heterogeneous environments.
  3. Azure Stack, Microsoft's on-premises version of Azure, will support Red Hat Enterprise Linux workloads as well.

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By Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.