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When I joined Red Hat in May 2001, "open" and "closed" were incredibly distinct. We introduced Red Hat Enterprise Linux to fill a gap in what we saw in enterprise technology - an open source, more secure, reliable operating platform with a long, stable lifecycle. In the years that followed, two operating systems emerged as mainstays in the datacenter: Windows and Red Hat Enterprise Linux(1). There were "Red Hat shops" and "Microsoft shops." The idea of proprietary software companies embracing open source was hard for many to imagine.
To say that enterprise IT has evolved a lot since then is a significant understatement. I have the opportunity to work with customers and partners around the globe, and I’ve never been more excited about the transformations I see in our industry. With those changes comes new thinking, new opportunities, and new challenges.
The CIO now thinks about four footprints, spanning traditional bare metal (physical), virtual, private and public cloud. I’ve talked about how walls are breaking down and these four footprints are converging, causing CIOs and IT managers to rethink how they’ll interact and be used, secured and managed as one. We are constantly listening to our customers, and we have heard clearly that they want us to help them solve these challenges.
Both Red Hat and Microsoft are key players in this new, hybrid cloud reality. Today, it is incredibly likely that where you once found "Red Hat shops" and "Microsoft shops," you’ll find heterogeneous environments that include solutions from both companies. We heard from customers and partners that they wanted our solutions to work together - with consistent APIs, frameworks, management, and platforms. They not only wanted Red Hat offerings on Microsoft Azure, they wanted to be able to build .NET applications on infrastructure powered by Red Hat Enterprise Linux, including OpenShift, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.
As customers move to a microservices architecture, I see a consistent enterprise platform and APIs for certified applications and container portability across physical, virtual, and private and public clouds becoming that much more important. Customers will want to be able to choose Microsoft Windows for Windows containers, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host and OpenShift for certified Red Hat Enterprise Linux containers unified by the common .NET framework.
Today marks a key moment in enterprise software history, with Red Hat and Microsoft announcing a new partnership to help customers solve these hybrid cloud challenges. While today’s news does not mark our first collaboration with Microsoft, it is by far our deepest, and I hope that customers, ISVs, and developers alike share our excitement as we work together to bring even more choice to hybrid cloud deployments.
I’d be remiss if I did not comment on what today’s news means for the open source community. More than 24 years ago, when Linus Torvalds started work on Linux "just for fun," even he could not have predicted how Linux and open source would change our world. But it did. Today, you can find open source, community-powered innovation everywhere, and it has truly changed the face of technology, from cloud computing and mobile to the Internet of Things and big data. Many companies that you would not have dreamed would either contribute to or embrace open source even 10 years ago now do. This is a great thing for both open source communities and consumers - more collaboration is always a good thing.
We have many resources for you to use to learn more about what we are doing to bring customers broader choice in the hybrid cloud:
Blog post from Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s EVP of Cloud and Enterprise: http://blogs.microsoft.com/?p=54883
At 11 a.m. ET today, I’ll be joining Scott Guthrie on a live webcast to share more details about today’s news with press and analysts - https://vts.inxpo.com/Launch/QReg.htm?ShowKey=28455. A replay will be available shortly after the webcast via that same link.
Next week, at 1 p.m. ET on Nov. 11, our companies will host a more in-depth public webinar for customers, prospects and the general public. For more information on that webinar or to register, visit https://azure.microsoft.com/campaigns/redhat/webinar/.
(1)IDC, Worldwide Linux Client and Server Operating Environments 2014-2018 Forecast and 2013 Vendor Shares. Doc #253012. December 2014. idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=253012
About the author
Paul Cormier is president and CEO of Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source enterprise IT software solutions and services. Before being named president and CEO in April 2020, Cormier was president of Products and Technologies at Red Hat, driving major strategy shifts and expansion of the company’s portfolio of products and services.