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Linux on Azure

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To encourage innovation and accelerate time to market, more enterprise organizations are using public cloud resources to build their hybrid cloud environments. These environments combine cloud resources with on-premise infrastructure to help enhance security, control costs, and more effectively manage resources and resource availability.  

Microsoft Azure is a public cloud platform with the ability to build, manage, and run applications across clouds, on-premise, and at the edge. However, a cloud-based system like Azure requires a reliable, stable, and secure operating system (OS)–and many enterprises are choosing to run the platform on Linux®.

Linux is one of the most popular OS choices for the cloud due to its open source development model, which offers enterprises freedom, flexibility, and consistency. Using Linux, organizations can avoid being locked into a specific technology environment or vendor, and they can more easily accommodate different infrastructure types and operating models. 

Azure works with Linux communities to offer a variety of Linux distributions on its cloud marketplaceAzure Marketplace, including Red Hat, CentOS. You can also provide your own Linux image if the distribution is not currently available. 

An enterprise-grade Linux solution not only helps organizations move to cloud environments–including Azure–it can also help them accelerate time to market, reduce complexity, improve scalability, and operate with more cost-efficiency. For example, with an open source Linux distribution, developers using Azure can create applications in a variety of tools and deploy them on supported Linux virtual machines (VMs).

The move to a connected hybrid cloud environment can be complex, and there are factors that must be considered. How can you maintain a production-grade environment? Once a workload is moved to the cloud, how do you maintain oversight and manage it? How do you protect and secure your organization’s data?

By standardizing on Linux, enterprise organizations can confidently migrate workloads to Azure knowing that existing processes, business practices, knowledge and skills are retained between on-premise and cloud footprints. 

Organizations with critical applications and systems must carefully select their Linux distribution. An enterprise-grade Linux distribution should provide Azure users with flexibility and scalability, along with: 

  • Open source innovation

  • Consistency across infrastructure

  • Reducing the complexity of cloud migration

  • Container portability

  • Continuous security

Organizations must also balance the flexibility and scalability they get from Linux on Azure with the need to maintain security, manageability, and reliability, but with an enterprise-hardened Linux distribution, these risks can be mitigated.

Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® is the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform and certified for use on Azure. Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Azure provide a unique and powerful mix of flexibility and consistency, allowing organizations to embrace hybrid cloud and innovation with the same level of security, scalability, manageability, and reliability that Red Hat users have come to expect on-premise.

With Red Hat and Microsoft, you can quickly deploy a more secure, reliable, and flexible hybrid cloud environment that positions your organization for success in fast-changing, competitive markets.

Backed by tightly integrated, enterprise-grade support from Red Hat and Microsoft, Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Azure lets you extend your existing data center into a connected cloud environment for a variety of needs and use cases:

  • Quickly launch and scale applications and improve reliability, security, and performance with tested and certified interoperability across on-premise and cloud environments. 

  • Protect your data, applications, and business and infrastructure with advanced, integrated security features that work across your hybrid environment. 

  • Seamlessly integrate traditional on-premise applications and cloud-native workloads with a consistent, hybrid foundation.

  • Run cloud-native applications on-premise to meet latency and connectivity requirements for edge and disconnected solutions.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is available directly integrated on Azure, or in stand-alone deployments, and versions specifically designed for SAP and SQL Server.

Keep reading


What is Linux?

Linux is an open source operating system that is made up of the kernel, the base component of the OS, and the tools, apps, and services bundled along with it.


What is SELinux?

Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) is a security architecture for Linux® systems that allows administrators to have more control over who can access the system.


What is the Linux kernel?

The Linux kernel is the main component of a Linux operating system (OS) and is the core interface between a computer’s hardware and its processes.

More about Linux


A stable, proven foundation that’s versatile enough for rolling out new applications, virtualizing environments, and creating a more secure hybrid cloud.