As you may have heard, Microsoft recently announced its “historical” partnership with Red Hat, something that a number of analysts already claimed as a milestone for both companies but especially for their customers.
Although this partnership has been presented as a “cloud space deal” it touches a number of different technologies but, obviously, the most acclaimed news is the highly anticipated availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) on Microsoft’s public cloud offering Azure.
You can see that as a step forward towards an OS-agnostic Azure, but among the reasons behind this move there is that RHEL has been a first class citizen on AWS for a long time and because most enterprises are big shops of both Microsoft and Red Hat its absence has been highly noticed.
Looking at this partnership from a business perspective is clear how Microsoft’s go-open-source strategy will benefit from Red Hat’s credibility in this space. With the majority of the market adopting open technologies for many different (and well known) reasons, Microsoft struggles to be perceived as a credible member of open source communities, partnering with Red Hat gives a strong message to the purists and grants Microsoft a trusted ambassador for this world. What about the advantages for Red Hat? Anything mysterious: the partnership reinforces its enterprise grade claim, supports the multi-vendor strategy the company advocated during the last two years and I can even argue that money could be involved somewhere ..
Another prominent member of this agreement is .NET that will be ported and supported on RHEL and OpenShift which is Red Hat’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. The advantages for customers and, specifically, for the developers’ community are crystal clear: freedom of choice and flexibility. For both Microsoft and Red Hat is pretty much the same. As mentioned before we are going to see a tighter integration at many different levels. Bottom-up the deal includes storage, middleware, management and so on all in the name of a better service to fit customers’ needs.
Each of these integrations, these different platforms and technologies talking each other have different implications and specific perspectives but it will take time to see the real results of this new friendship.
What we can say for now is that the market reacted in a positive way and we are happy to see an happy ending to a former war of religion.