Microsoft and Red Hat want to make it easier for hybrid firms to work with containers

Microsoft and open-source software company Red Hat have expanded their partnership to help more firms use containers in their own servers and in the cloud.

The move is designed to assist businesses who use a hybrid cloud model to become more agile and embrace digital transformation, so they can better serve their customers.

Containers give developers a separate space to run applications, with their own system admins and groups of users. Unlike a virtual machine, containers do not host a complete operating system, just the applications, settings and storage, so they use very little space and can be created in microseconds.

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Microsoft and Red Hat have now announced native support for Windows Server containers on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated on Microsoft Azure, and SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift.

“Microsoft and Red Hat are aligned in our commitment to bring enterprise customers the hybrid cloud solutions they need to modernize their businesses as they shift to operate in a cloud-native world,” said John Gossman, Lead Azure Architect at Microsoft. “Today, we’re extending this commitment as we again join forces to bring fully interoperable solutions that simplify container adoption and help customers make the most of their hybrid cloud strategies.”

As part of the partnership expansion, Red Hat OpenShift will be the first container application platform built from the open source Kubernetes project to support Linux and Windows Server container workloads in a single platform across a hybrid cloud. This is expected to be available as a “technology preview” in spring 2018.

Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated, a container platform as a cloud service managed by Red Hat, will be made available on Azure, Microsoft’s cloud service. The move allows IT teams to easily manage the infrastructure associated with cloud-based applications and containers, freeing them up to help their companies grow rather than micro-managing resources. Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated on Microsoft Azure is expected to be available early next year.

The two companies also plan to deliver support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux workloads on Azure Stack, a Microsoft service that lets companies enjoy the benefits of cloud computing in their own, on-premise servers.

Finally, Microsoft and Red Hat are planning to make SQL Server for Linux – one of the world’s leading relational database management systems – available on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift.

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Containers give developers a separate space to run applications, with their own system admins and groups of users

Matthew Hicks, Vice-President of Software Engineering, OpenShift and Management at Red Hat, said: “Alongside Microsoft, Red Hat is providing a way for organizations to truly make the technology choices that matter to them, from containerized workloads to public cloud services, without adding an equal burden of complexity. Combined with our integrated support teams, we’re able to offer an achievable pathway to digital transformation that offers the capabilities, flexibility and choice required to power the future of enterprise IT.”