Over the last few years, Microsoft and RedHat have gone from being rivals to now buddies. Instead of fighting, their now scratching each others’ backs. RedHat has been hosting .NET applications, and Microsoft supporting linux (such as RedHat) on Azure.
Their partnership has greatly deepened with Microsoft’s announcement that supported RHEL6.7 and 7.2 instances are officially available on the Azure Marketplace now.
A good bit of RedHat Customer are also a Microsoft Customer of some kind, so it’s natural that the two companies would want to work together.Yet the partnership also plays into Microsoft’s big ambitions to build a hybrid cloud that’s bigger than just Microsoft alone.
Here, There, and Everywhere
Come to think of it, Microsoft’s new offerings looks like another way to consume RHEL. If you think about it, a RedHat Customer can procure, operate, and run their RHEL subscriptions natively within Azure with newly purchased subscriptions or by bringing their existing licenses over to Azure.
Regardless of this change, Microsoft’s real mission is to provide customers with a single, consistent way to use — and also obtain support for — both Microsoft’s and RedHat’s products.
Mike Ferris, Senior Director of Business Architecture at RedHat said:
About 100 percent of Red Hat enterprise customers are also Microsoft customers of some kind. Those customers had demanded that not only we work together, but that we provide services that allow enterprise use cases and support methods between the two companies.
The joint Microsoft/RedHat support plan for RHEL is as comprehensive as anything either company offers alone. Ferris described how Red Hat has shared support engineers, so if a customer calls into either RedHat or Microsoft for aid, the call will escalated to a center where engineers from both of the companies can sit side-by-side to solve the problem which the client is having. Also, when an Azure customer sets up a RHEL instance, the full range of RedHat services and back-end support is also available for them as needed.
Their Better Together
Microsoft and Red Hat deliver these services jointly, they’re just not limited to people who has purchased Azure. As an example, .NET applications running in OpenShift on RHEL, in an on-premise environment, would be covered by these support options which they are offering all of their customers.
Ferris is stressing how this new support model is going to provide greater range of choices for how to consume RHEL and where they can run it.
If customers decide they want to consume on-demand or via bursting, they can go to the Azure marketplace and instantiate and consume individually as needed.
With the on-demand models, he noted, are used aggressively by their development-oriented customers for provisional runs of their applications. The longer-term deployments benefit greatly from their full-blown subscription models. The same RHEL image is used no matter where the deployments will take place, guaranteeing a better, consistent experience. Either or it’s running on bare metal, in virtualization, or in private or public cloud environments.
Such a support structure will also mesh nicely with Microsoft’s ambitions to make Azure into an amazing support system for all different types of hybrid computing. Just alone allowing RHEL to be deployed in a hybrid way (locally and in Azure itself) most likely wouldn’t be enough for most customers. The goal is to have such deployments supported by both RedHat and Microsoft.
This stands in high contrast to Amazon’s approach to their cloud offerings. which has no attempt to create a hybrid cloud option for enterprises and ends up has fewer opportunities to leverage for joint relationships.
Microsoft’s Azure hybrid play isn’t just only about deploying Windows Servers and related Microsoft products for enterprise options. In the big picture, it’s about making Microsoft’s cloud to gain many other things commonly found in enterprises.