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As the alliance between Red Hat and Microsoft has evolved over the last couple years, many people have wondered how one time competitors could be aligning on so many initiatives. Our collaboration spans open source projects, the adoption of Linux in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, to high performance databases and application development tools. The latest addition is managed Red Hat OpenShift on Azure.

The rise of Linux containers and Kubernetes

Before discussing this initiative, it’s valuable to look at how we got here. Developer success has been a priority for both Red Hat and Microsoft. Enabling developer productivity is now a priority for businesses across many industries. To do this, there needs to be greater alignment between business ideas, business innovation, new application experiences (on every one of IT’s footprints), and the feedback loops that improve those interactions. Two technologies have been leading this shift in how applications are built, scaled and adapted to this rapidly changing business environment: containers and Kubernetes.

For applications running on Linux, customers recognize Red Hat and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. As they begin moving existing applications, adapting and building new applications with Linux containers, they trust Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat’s enterprise Kubernetes platform, to help manage and scale those applications. And in many cases, they want to run OpenShift on resources in the Azure cloud because it not only aligns to their technical needs, but it aligns to their business needs for trusted enterprise partners. Azure’s global presence and rich set of application services can help customers all over the world build, deploy, and manage applications across environments.

Bringing Linux and Windows apps together on Kubernetes

But it’s not just about Linux applications. Windows applications still power a large number of business critical applications and there is desire to bring the benefits of containers and Kubernetes to Windows applications as well. This is where Microsoft and Red Hat have been working closely, both in the open source communities and directly with joint engineering teams, to make Windows and Linux applications equal first class citizens in a containerized world. In addition, Azure enterprise security and identity management solutions, such as Azure Key Vault and Active Directory, are popular with customers regardless of the underlying operating system.

Getting the benefits of container management in public and hybrid cloud environments

From that starting point, customers already run their own OpenShift instances on the Azure cloud. In some instances, they only run OpenShift on Azure. In other instances, they enable OpenShift in hybrid environments, on both Azure and in their own data centers. As their experience with containers, Kubernetes, OpenShift and Azure grows, our joint customers want to know how Red Hat and Microsoft can make their experience better, simpler, yet more robust. How can we bring more applications to the platform? How can we simplify operations? How can we make it easier to use powerful new services in Azure?

This customer interest is what is driving the creation of managed OpenShift on Azure. The foundational technologies are in place and evolving. The engineering partnerships are in place, both in open source communities and joint activities. But managed OpenShift on Azure takes things to the next level, just as our customers are expecting their own software teams to take them to the next level.

A managed OpenShift on Azure is designed to simplify how developers can access the leading enterprise Kubernetes platform. It simplifies how containerized applications can integrate with a broad set of Azure services. And since day-to-day operations are managed, this allows for an easy to use, scalable and highly available solution for the most demanding business needs. In short, it is designed to bring together the best of Linux and Windows, the best of two companies who enterprises trust for their IT needs, and leading hybrid cloud computing solutions for businesses that demand the best digital experience for their customers.If you are interested in applying to participate in the private preview for managed OpenShift on Azure, please complete this form: https://aka.ms/openshiftazureinterest.

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