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.NET Framework Dons the Red Hat with Deeper Linux Integration

Microsoft and Red Hat join forces to provide more Red Hat solution capabilities in the Azure public cloud, as well as .NET Framework integration with Red Hat platform offerings.

Microsoft and Red Hat jointly announced an effort between the two companies that will see more Red Hat solutions on Microsoft Azure -- as well as .NET Framework apps running on Red Hat's platform offerings -- as a means to help enterprise customers move to a hybrid cloud computing model.

The partnership is being described by Microsoft as possibly its deepest partnership with another major enterprise infrastructure provider. Red Hat will move an engineering team to Redmond to provide joint technical support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux workloads running in the Azure public cloud as well as on Microsoft's hybrid cloud offerings.

"It's a much more comprehensive partnership than we have with any of our other public cloud providers," said Paul Cormier, Red Hat's president of products and technologies, during a Web conference announcing the pact. "The colocation of our support teams is really a significant differentiator for our enterprise customers."

Microsoft for its part will work on hooks for applications developed in the Microsoft .NET Framework language that will be capable of running on RHEL, OpenShift and the new Red Hat Atomic Host container platform.

Specifically there are five components to what the two companies hope to deliver:
  • Combined support services for hybrid cloud including Red Hat products and on premises customer environments running on Microsoft Azure. "What this means is as we bring our solutions together to solve customers' real problems," Cormier said. "We need to do that in such a way that we can really give enterprise class support that our customers want, need and expect." To accomplish this, he said Red Hat will collocate its engineers with Microsoft's so when issues or questions arise regarding integration points, their respective engineers will work together to address it.
  • Red Hat will use the newly open sourced .NET technologies into its platforms including RHEL, its OpenShift cloud PaaS offering and Red Hat Atomic Host, the company's container offering. This will let developers build applications that include .NET services, which could be more appealing now that Microsoft has open-sourced the framework. "I think this will give us greater interoperability across the technologies and really start to give our customers the heterogeneous world that they really want," Cormier said.
  • Subscriptions to Red Hat products supported on Azure and Windows will be supported by Red Hat the same way they are supported when running in traditional enterprise environments. Red Hat will also expand cooperation and work on Windows being supported on Red Hat products including RHEL, OpenStack and OpenShift.
  • Red Hat's systems management offering Cloud Forms will include management of workloads on Azure, providing a common management pane for physical workloads private cloud environments including its OpenStack distribution and OpenShift.
  • Microsoft is joining the Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider Program (CCSP) program, providing certified support for all of its products in Azure. With Microsoft joining the CCSP, Guthrie said "Red Hat subscriptions will become portable to Microsoft Azure, with full Red Hat cloud access, enabling a consistent application platform on and off premises."

The two teams will start their collocation in Redmond over the next few weeks, said Scott Guthrie, Microsoft's EVP of Cloud and Enterprise, who was on the Webcast with Cormier. Over time, they may send teams to other locations as well. In the coming months, Guthrie said the two companies will let customers sign up and pay for licenses of Red Hat products on Azure on a usage basis.

"You'll see the integration of the Red Hat CloudForms offering with both Azure and our System Center VMM product that will enable consistent workload management in a hybrid way," Guthrie said. "We'll also enable Red Hat enterprise Linux Atomic Host on Azure and basically deliver a supported and certified small footprint container host that customers can use for enterprise Linux containers."

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is the editor of 1105 Media's Redmond magazine, an editor-at-large and columnist for Redmond Channel Partner magazine, and author of a blog covering enterprise cloud computing called The Schwartz Cloud Report. Earlier in his tenure with the Enterprise Computing Group of 1105 Media, he held senior editorial postions with Application Development Trends, Visual Studio Magazine and Redmond Developer News. He has covered all aspects of enterprise IT for more than two decades and has spent much of that time writing about mobile computing technology. Before joining 1105 Media’s Enterprise Computing group, he held several senior editorial roles with such publications as VARBusiness (now part of CRN), InternetWeek and CommunicationsWeek.

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