Red Hat and Microsoft Expand OpenShift Partnership

September 2017

It’s no secret that Red Hat and Microsoft share some interesting, high-profile customers and that they are, to a great extent, business rivals. That’s why it is still raises eyebrows when announcements are made indicating further collaboration between the two companies, like that made last month.

Despite its long-standing support of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Microsoft’s Azure platform the two companies still vie for greater market share and would be more than happy for customers to use their platforms exclusively.

However, as announced in August, Windows Server containers will soon be supported by Red Hat’s OpenShift container platform. Windows Server containers constitutes Microsoft’s offering for clients wishing to run Windows applications in containers and the announcement represents a significant broadening of their existing, if uneasy, partnership.

Matt Hicks, from Red Hat, and Mike Neil, from Microsoft, both seem to agree that the partnership will lead to all-round better support for clients running systems from both companies. This expansion of the Red Hat - Microsoft partnership is expected to help enterprises to share existing workloads with containers. This is particularly important for enterprising looking to add a more modern element to their development workflows.

This expansion to their relationship will also see OpenShift become the first Kubernetes-based container platform to serve not just Linux but Windows containers.

Although the announcement was made last month the technology will be not be available until Spring of 2018. Before that, still in 2018, Red Hat will be releasing its OpenShift Dedicated service to Microsoft’s Azure platform. The service is Red Hat’s fully-managed version of OpenShift that currently runs on AWS and Google Cloud. It has taken some considerable time for the service to reach Azure and Matt Hicks has commented that the delay has in part been due to the need to bring adapt the tech for Azure and train staff to manager the service on Azure.

As well as announcing progress on rolling out Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Microsoft’s cloud service Red Hat is also making progress in other areas with Microsoft. In fact it is in the process of certifying Microsoft’s SQL Server for Linux on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift. This service will also be supported by Microsoft and Red Hat which plan to roll out the service in full by the end of 2017.