Redmond View

Red Hat Sets up Shop in Redmond

The two will work in close proximity to streamline customer support.

In a year full of unlikely alliances, Microsoft has capped 2015 by inking a partnership with Red Hat that will result in the open source vendor sending an engineering team with a one-way ticket to Redmond this month. A new joint engineering team working on the Microsoft campus will ensure Red Hat Enterprise Linux workloads run seamlessly in the Microsoft Azure public cloud and on Windows Server-based hybrid cloud offerings.

The combined team will also support other Red Hat offerings, including its JBoss middleware. The pact also calls for applications developed in the Microsoft .NET Framework language to run on RHEL, OpenShift and the new Red Hat Atomic Host container platform. Microsoft will also extend support for Red Hat's Cloud Forms to provide a common management pane for physical workloads and private cloud environments including the open source provider's OpenStack distribution and OpenShift.

By having engineers from both companies in Redmond, the combined team claims they'll be able to provide a common source of customer support, as well, eliminating any finger pointing. Anyone who has followed the history of OSes and open source is aware of the deep rift between these companies a decade ago when Microsoft claimed Linux distributors including Red Hat were in violation of Microsoft's patents. While neither company has changed their stance on patents, the two have apparently agreed that it's in their mutual interest -- and that of their respective customers -- to put those differences aside.

A report by Deutsche Bank estimates half of Red Hat's $100 million in cloud services revenue comes from Amazon Web Services. Hence, both companies stand to benefit from making customers comfortable running Red Hat workloads and apps in Azure and likewise Windows workloads in Red Hat hybrid cloud environments.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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