The two companies are creating an even playing field so customers can consume the technologies that they need, irrespective of where they come from…

Red Hat and Microsoft are the two heavyweights of the enterprise world which runs on operating systems and services by these two companies. Red Hat and Microsoft have been the two opposite poles of the enterprise world. One would never have imagined these two companies working together. But market dynamics have changed, Linux has become a dominant force in the enterprise world. While Microsoft owns the second largest public cloud, nearly one in three Azure machines run Linux.

In addition, no one runs a homogenous environment; customers run a mix of services and the only way to serve these customers is by working together. As much as these two companies want to compete with each other, the market has brought them together as partners to serve their shared customers.

In 2015, Microsoft and Red Hat signed a historic deal to support each other’s platform. One of the core components of that deal involved patents where the two companies agreed not to sue each other; however Red Hat also rejected Microsoft’s long held claim that Linux infringes upon Microsoft’s patents.

The two heavyweights are expanding their 2015 deal to serve the customers that consume containers.

Microsoft is bringing SQL Server to Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift, and Red Hat is bringing OpenShift and OpenShift Dedicated to Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

As a result of this expanded deal, Windows Server containers will be natively supported on Red Hat OpenShift, a Kubernetes-based container application platform.

According to Red Hat, OpenShift will be the first container application platform built from the open source Kubernetes project to support both Linux and Windows container workloads in a single platform across the multiple environments of the hybrid cloud.

Early this year, at the Red Hat Summit, the companies demonstrated this technology and it is expected to be available as a Technology Preview in Spring 2018.

Other core Microsoft technologies that are coming to Red Hat platform include .NET Core 2.0 as a container in OpenShift and SQL Server for Linux to Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift.

That’s from the Microsoft side of the story, at the Red Hat end, the company is bringing Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated to Azure Cloud. Microsoft and Red Hat engineers are working closely to optimize OpenShift while running on Azure, helping to deliver standardized enterprise performance and matching integrated support. Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated on Microsoft Azure is expected to be available in early 2018.

“The companies also plan to collaborate on delivering enterprise performance standards and integrated support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux workloads running in Microsoft Azure Stack, an extension of Azure that brings cloud computing to on-premises environments,” said Red Hat in a press release.

These two companies are creating a truly level playing field for customers to run whichever technology they deem fit for their workload.

“For me, the significance is the impact Red Hat and Microsoft continue to make in the cloud. It wasn’t long ago that the idea of these two companies working together would have been almost inconceivable,” wrote John Gossman Architect, Azure in a blog post, “Well it turns out that word does not mean what people thought it did.”