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Container Pact Strengthens Open Source Dev Ties of Red Hat, Microsoft

Just after declaring the company will support Microsoft's new .NET Core 2.0 across its open source portfolio, Red Hat Inc. even further strengthened the development ties between the companies in a bevy of announcements.

Here's a taste of this week's Red Hat announcements:

"A key addition to the Red Hat Developer Program, the latest version of .NET Core supports .NET Standard 2.0, providing enhanced platform compatibility and portability across all .NET runtimes and workloads," Red Hat said in announcing its release of .NET Core. 2.0. "It also helps to streamline application packaging with easier access to ASP.NET 2.0 and EF Core 2.0, designed to further simplify the application build process in an all open source environment. Additionally, the 2.0 release supports C#, F# and Visual Basic, which, when combined with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and/or Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, enables the creation of modern, containerized applications."

The new initiatives build on longtime cooperation between the two companies, as was detailed in the Red Hat Summit 2017 conference in May, where joint teams demonstrated:

  • Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform running on Microsoft Azure
  • Microsoft SQL Server for Linux running on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform
  • An enterprise Java application using a newly open-sourced JDBC driver for Microsoft SQL Server
  • A .NET Core application built and deployed running next to the Java application and using the same SQL Server instance
  • A Skype Chat-bot using Azure Serverless Functions talking to the deployed .NET endpoint
  • OpenShift Origin orchestrating and scheduling a Windows container running IIS on a Windows 2016 Server -- even proving it by displaying a Windows command prompt from within the OpenShift console

Speaking of that last bullet point, Red Hat exec Chris Morgan said: "Red Hat and Microsoft are embarking on a joint effort to deliver Windows Server container support commercially within Red Hat OpenShift, moving us from project to fully supported product. With this work, users will be able to orchestrate and schedule Windows containers within Red Hat OpenShift using the same tooling and management used with Linux containers.

"You read that correctly: common orchestration and scheduling for Windows Server containers and Linux containers on the same platform."

"We believe that developers will be pleased to be able to write familiar .NET code from their platform of choice, and that operations teams, who use Red Hat solutions, will enjoy having the freedom to deploy to Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform on-premises or in Microsoft Azure."

Scott Hunter, Director, Program Management, .NET, Microsoft

Microsoft also weighed in on the new initiative announced Tuesday aimed at enabling enterprises to more easily adopt containers. "This includes 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," Microsoft said in its own statement. "These additions to the companies' joint roadmap will simplify container technologies to help enterprise customers increase agility and drive digital transformation using hybrid cloud."

Over at sister pub Redmond Magazine, Kurt Mackie explained more about the new container cooperation, noting the companies have a history of collaboration that even includes Red Hat placing some engineering team members on Microsoft's Redmond campus.

The collaboration would have been unheard-of a decade or so ago, before Microsoft's open source turnaround.

"This effort started with open source community efforts and it is a combination of this alliance and community involvement that will move this forward," Morgan said. "The Kubernetes Windows SIG was created to help deliver this ubiquitous orchestration goal. In fact, the demo shown during Red Hat Summit in Boston ... was based on work that came out of this SIG that enables interoperability of Windows with Kubernetes. It will be interesting to see how this evolves in the coming months with both Microsoft and Red Hat engagement, but the goal of the truly unified container application platform may not be as far-fetched as it once seemed."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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