It won’t be long before Red Hat becomes part of IBM, the result of the $34 billion acquisition last year that is still making its way to completion. For now, Red Hat continues as a standalone company, and if to flex its independence muscles, it announced its second agreement in two days with Microsoft Azure, Redmond’s public cloud infrastructure offering. This one involves running Red Hat OpenShift on Azure.
OpenShift is Red Hat’s Kubernetes offering. The thinking is that you can start with OpenShift in your data center, then as you begin to shift to the cloud, you can move to Azure Red Hat OpenShift — such a catchy name — without any fuss, as you have the same management tools you have been using.
As Red Hat becomes part of IBM, it sees that it’s more important than ever to maintain its sense of autonomy in the eyes of developers and operations customers, as it holds its final customer conference as an independent company. Paul Cormier, Red Hat executive vice president and president of products and technologies certainly sees it that way. “I think [the partnership] is a testament to, even with moving to IBM at some point soon, that we are going to be separate and really keep our Switzerland status and give the same experience for developers and operators across anyone’s cloud,” he told TechCrunch.
It’s essential to see this announcement in the context of both IBM’s and Microsoft’s increasing focus on the hybrid cloud, and also in the continuing requirement for cloud companies to find ways to work together, even when it doesn’t always seem to make sense, because as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said, customers will demand it. Red Hat has a big enterprise customer presence and so does Microsoft. If you put them together, it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Scott Guthrie, executive vice president for the cloud and AI group at Microsoft understands that. “Microsoft and Red Hat share a common goal of empowering enterprises to create a hybrid cloud environment that meets their current and future business needs. Azure Red Hat OpenShift combines the enterprise leadership of Azure with the power of Red Hat OpenShift to simplify container management on Kubernetes and help customers innovate on their cloud journeys,” he said in a statement.
This news comes on the heels of yesterday’s announcement, also involving Kubernetes. TechCrunch’s own Frederic Lardinois described it this way:
What’s most interesting here, however, is KEDA, a new open-source collaboration between Red Hat and Microsoft that helps developers deploy serverless, event-driven containers. Kubernetes-based event-driven autoscaling, or KEDA, as the tool is called, allows users to build their own event-driven applications on top of Kubernetes. KEDA handles the triggers to respond to events that happen in other services and scales workloads as needed.
Azure Red Hat OpenShift is available now on Azure. The companies are working on some other integrations too including Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) running on Azure and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 support in Microsoft SQL Server 2019.