A new Microsoft-Red Hat partnership could make hybrid cloud computing a lot easier and less binding, in a surprise move that sees Microsoft become a channel partner for an open source company.
The availability of Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux-based systems on Microsoft Azure was the key component of a joint announcement on Wednesday. Microsoft will offer Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the preferred choice for enterprise Linux workloads on Microsoft Azure.
The two vendors also announced plans to jointly tackle issues that commonly arise when enterprises, ISVs and developers try to build, install and manage applications on Red Hat software across private and public clouds.
Under the terms of the partnership Red Hat systems will be available natively to Microsoft Azure customers and Microsoft Azure will become a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider. In return, Red Hat Cloud Access subscribers will also be able to bring their own virtual machine images to run in Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft Azure customers can now make full use of Red Hat applications such as JBoss Enterprise, JBoss Web Server, Red Hat Gluster Storage and OpenShift, Red Hat’s platform-as-a-service offering.
The two partners will jointly offer enterprise-grade support for hybrid computing set ups. The cross-platform, cross-company support will span both Microsoft and Red Hat offerings. In a new initiative, support teams from both vendors will be located on the same sites, in a bid to achieve the level of support cohesion the public cloud lacks, according to Red Hat.
The two partners will also work together to unify workload management across hybrid clouds. This will see Red Hat CloudForms interoperate with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, As a result, customers should be able to manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux on both Hyper-V and Microsoft Azure. Extra support for managing Azure workloads from Red Hat CloudForms is expected ‘in the next few months’.
There will also be a level of collaboration on .NET for a new generation of application development options, Red Hat said. Developers will have access to .NET technologies across Red Hat offerings, including Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
“The data centre is heterogeneous, and the cloud is hybrid,” said Paul Cormier, president of Products and Technologies at Red Hat. “Together, we’re offering the most comprehensive support agreement for our mixed technologies to support customers.”