Microsoft Azure Adds RHEL, Linux Containers and Other Open Source Options Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Microsoft Azure Adds RHEL, Linux Containers and Other Open Source Options

Microsoft's Azure cloud now supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a Linux containers preview and Walmart OneOps, among other new open source services.

Microsoft's Azure cloud continues to grow more Linux-friendly by the day, it seems. This week, the company announced that more than 60 percent of Azure images are Linux based -- and it added additional open source options for Azure users.

The major new open source offering on Azure is the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) images in the Azure marketplace. That adds one more major enterprise-oriented Linux-based OS to the Microsoft cloud.

It also reflects a push by Microsoft to attract more Red Hat customers. "With this release, we are delivering on the joint partnership announcement we made in November," Microsoft said. "Since we announced our partnership in November, we've seen strong interest and momentum from our customers looking to bring their Red Hat investments to Azure."

The RHEL images expand upon the collaboration that Microsoft and Red Hat began last November, when they announced support for other Red Hat products on Azure.

Microsoft also announced expanded availability of its Linux-based container platform, called Azure Container Service. That represents another step toward making Docker-like containers widely available in the Microsoft cloud.

Last but not least, Microsoft is now supporting OneOps, the cloud application and lifecycle management platform that Walmart open-sourced recently, on Azure.

To be sure, there are still plenty of open source stalwarts who will remain wary of the Microsoft embrace. But for the rest of the channel, it's increasingly hard to remember that Microsoft and the open source community weren't always friends.

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