(Pictured above: Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie and Red Hat’s Paul Cormier on stage at the Red Hat Summit, May 8. Photo courtesy: Red Hat Summit)
By Frank J. Ohlhorst
RED HAT SUMMIT — As more and more enterprises adopt the DevOps model, certain challenges are revealing themselves.
Take, for example, when DevOps is paired with digital transformation, where applications might have to move through siloed, on-premises instances, then eventually into the cloud. Both developers and operational staffers are finding that the portability of conatiners might not be all it’s cracked up to be, especially when moving from premises to the public cloud.
To reduce the challenges of container movement, Microsoft and Red Hat have partnered to create a service that uses OpenShift, making it possible to bring Kubernetes container-based applications to the Azure cloud with ease — and incorporate full management of the process. The announcement was made at this week’s Red Hat Summit in San Francisco.
Both vendors will offer support for an OpenShift service, with Microsoft handling the cloud end of the business and Red Hat focusing on the Kubernetes container side. The OpenShift service will support Kubernetes-container-based applications on either on-premises servers or the Azure cloud, giving DevOps pros the ability to move their container-based applications over to Azure if needed, without having to make any significant changes.
“The ability to move containerized applications into the Azure cloud should prove to be a significant advantage for both DevOps and digital transformation,” said Raj Mehta, CEO of Infosys International, a Plainview, New York-based MSP and system integrator. “Containers bring a great deal of power and flexibility to application delivery, yet prove complex to seamlessly move between on-premises and cloud services. An OpenShift service should prove to remove much of that complexity.”
Microsoft and Red Hat claim that the managed OpenShift service will be the first of its kind to run via a public cloud. The combined offering also offers hybrid networking services and will run in Microsoft’s Azure Stack private cloud. The partnership will occur over two phases. Azure support for OpenShift Container Platform and Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Azure and Azure Stack are available now, and the jointly managed OpenShift on Azure project is slated to go into its preview phase “in the coming months.”
“Red Hat’s quest to garner more support for its hybrid-cloud services should be well-served by the arrangement with Microsoft,” said Paul Cormier, president of products and technology at Red Hat. “By extending our partnership with Microsoft, we’re able to offer the industry’s most comprehensive Kubernetes platform on a leading public cloud, providing the ability for customers to more easily harness innovation across the hybrid cloud without sacrificing production stability.”
For Microsoft, the agreement adds to the growing level of vendor support for Azure and boosts support for SQL Server on RedHat OpenShift containers, as well as OpenShift support for Azure Cosmos DB, Machine Learning, and SQL DB.
“Microsoft and Red Hat are aligned in our vision to deliver simplicity, choice and flexibility to enterprise developers building cloud-native applications,” said Scott Guthrie, Microsoft cloud and enterprise group executive VP. “Today, we’re combining both companies’ leadership in Kubernetes, hybrid cloud and enterprise operating systems to simplify the complex process of container management, with an industry-first solution on Azure.”
According to 451 Research, the application container market will grow to $2.7 billion by 2020, more than double the market size of 2017. The partnership between Microsoft and Red Hat should prove to bring a larger slice of the pie to MSPs looking to promote Kubernetes and bring containers into their cloud-service offerings.