Red Hat, Microsoft Make OpenShift an Azure Service
RED HAT SUMMIT — Red Hat and Microsoft are teaming up to offer a jointly managed Kubernetes solution to the Microsoft Azure cloud, a move that not only gives enterprises another avenue into hybrid clouds but also bolsters IBM’s promise to keep Red Hat independent after it acquires the Linux operating system vendor later this year.
At the Red Hat Summit 2019 in Boston, officials with both Azure and Red Hat unveiled Azure Red Hat OpenShift, a jointly managed service in the public cloud based on Red Hat’s OpenShift Kubernetes container orchestration platform. Enterprises have been able to bring an OpenShift environment into a variety of public clouds, including Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform and IBM Cloud. However, through the new offering, customers get a more tightly integrated service that is backed by both companies and makes it easier to manage and run containerized applications both on-premises and in the cloud.
The integration of OpenShift with Azure’s environment delivers such capabilities as unified sign-up, on-boarding, service management and technical support, according to Azure and Red Hat. The service also helps reduce the complexities and management headaches that come with running workloads both on premises and in the public cloud. In addition, the joint effort between Red Hat and Microsoft means that customers will be able to get OpenShift through their Azure subscriptions.
“We were seeing a lot of customers who would buy the OpenShift software and then run apps on top of Azure,” Brian Gracely, director of product strategy at Red Hat, told Channel Futures. “The Azure team came to us and said, ‘Hey, we’re seeing the same thing. Would you like to build a joint managed service together and make it simpler for your customers?’ … This will be a native Azure service jointly integrated, jointly supported, jointly engineered by Red Hat and Microsoft. But it’s really the first opportunity for a Microsoft customer who says they like OpenShift but wants to be able to buy it from Microsoft and wants to be able to get it on demand.”
Roger Kay, principal analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, told Channel Futures that the Red Hat-Microsoft deal is not unlike other efforts designed to make it easier for enterprises to move at least some of their workloads into the public cloud.
“This is all the rage now, packaging complex software so it’s more usable,” Kay said. “ It reminds me of the Virtustream guys putting together SAP with VMware. Their whole business is removing the hair for SAP customers who are trying to move partially to the cloud and need to adopt VMware. This is another camp doing something similar.”
Enterprise adoption of hybrid cloud and multicloud strategies is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years as organizations wrestle with the rapid changes occurring around data proliferation, analytics and modern workloads that leverage such technologies as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Containers and Kubernetes will play a crucial role in helping enterprises manage their on-premises and cloud workloads and move them between the two areas and between public clouds. Gartner analysts have said the container ecosystem is still relatively immature, though 30% of organizations globally are running containerized applications in production today. However, they expect that number to jump to 75% by 2022.
Tech vendors see containers and Kubernetes as key drivers of the new data-centric and cloud-based IT world and are rapidly expanding their capabilities around the technologies. That was on display late last month at Dell Technologies World, with Dell and some of its companies, such as VMware, touting their growing portfolios around the hybrid cloud. Red Hat is doing the same this week with the release of …