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FAQ: Red Hat and Microsoft Partnership

1. Why is this announcement taking place? What is driving the demand for the customer offerings included in this partnership?

Red Hat and Microsoft have reached an agreement to the benefit of our mutual customers who want to use Red Hat products on Microsoft Azure and receive integrated services from the leaders in enterprise solutions. Extending the work Red Hat and Microsoft have done with hypervisor and guest operating system cross-certification, the companies are also working together to better integrate their frameworks and technologies, such as .NET and Red Hat CloudForms, to provide a unified experience across physical, virtual, cloud, and hybrid cloud, deployments.

End customers, partners, and independent software vendors (ISVs) increasingly look to the public cloud as a component of their overall IT strategy. Red Hat customers want the same security, consistency, and reliability that they have come to expect from Red Hat, such as long, stable, and supported life cycles and an ecosystem of certified ISV applications. Customers now want to couple these benefits with the agility and speed of a business-optimized cloud provided by Microsoft Azure. These integration efforts will provide the freedom for customers to:

  • Move workloads between their datacenters and the cloud.

  • Integrate cloud workloads with on-premises data.

  • Ensure that applications can take advantage of the best deployment architecture and technology platforms available in the market.

2. What is the scope of the announcement between Red Hat and Microsoft?

Microsoft and Red Hat are working together to:

  • Make Red Hat products globally available on Microsoft Azure, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Web Server, and OpenShift by Red Hat.

  • Bring customers' existing Red Hat software subscriptions to Azure as a feature of Red Hat products. Once imported, customers will be able to utilize their existing Red Hat support relationships and technology on Azure while maintaining a consistent level of service with predictable pricing, direct from Red Hat.

  • Enable Red Hat CloudForms with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft System Center.

  • Co-locate support teams to provide a secure enterprise support structure spanning both on- and off-premises cloud environments.

  • Distribute and support .NET within both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift, which includes enabling containers for both platforms.

  • Extend the cross-certification of Red Hat products on Microsoft Hyper-V and Microsoft offerings on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.

3. When will the offerings be available?

Red Hat Cloud Access will be available to Red Hat customers in the weeks following the announcement for Microsoft Azure, enabling customers to easily import Red Hat products and use them in Azure. Pre-configured pay-as-you-go Red Hat offerings in the Azure Marketplace will be available in the months to follow.

4. Does the new partnership address patents?

Red Hat and Microsoft have agreed to a limited patent arrangement in connection with the commercial partnership for the benefit of mutual customers.

The heart of the arrangement is a patent standstill that provides that neither company will pursue a patent lawsuit or claim against the other or its customers, while we are partnering. Neither company acknowledged the validity or enforceability of the other’s intellectual property; it is not a patent license or a covenant not to sue and no payment was made or will be made for intellectual property.

The partnership is between commercial companies related to their common customer offerings, spurred by customer demand. Both parties carefully designed for FOSS licensing compliance in building the arrangement and each party’s relationship to the FOSS community stands on its own.

5. What is Red Hat's long-term vision and strategy for the public cloud?

Red Hat’s long-term vision for public clouds is to extend a hybrid cloud strategy to a broad ecosystem of cloud and service providers in order to deliver strategic advantages to its customers - from lights-on systems to new applications that drive innovation.  Red Hat believes this vision will ultimately provide customers additional choices for development, testing, and deployment flexibility, including models for hybrid scaling into the public cloud.

6. Which versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux will be supported on Azure?

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.7 and above, as well as 7.1 and above will be supported on Azure.

7. Is there any difference between Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Azure and the versions customers can run in their datacenters?

There are no differences between Red Hat Enterprise Linux software running in a customer’s datacenter and Red Hat Enterprise Linux software running on Azure. Microsoft has performed extensive testing to ensure compatibility between the Azure platform and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat Cloud Access also ensures that customers receive full support from Red Hat, just as if they were using Red Hat Enterprise Linux in their datacenters. For details on Red Hat Cloud Access, visit