2015 will be remembered as the year Microsoft started to embrace Linux. But while the Windows maker embraced SUSE and Canonical, it kept Red Hat, the king of Linux, at a distance.
But not for too long.
Microsoft themselves has said that more than 20% Azure virtual machines are Linux, adding that if customers are running RHEL, Microsoft has to offer what these customers want. [UPDATE: Microsoft has since sent me note saying that Linux machines now make up 25% of Azure virtual machines.]
So the biggest story of 2015 was the announcement that Microsoft would offer RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) on Azure. And today is the day when customers can run RHEL in Microsoft Azure.
Starting today, Microsoft Azure has become a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider and customers can now run Red Hat solutions natively on Azure. Those customers who are Red Hat Cloud Access subscribers can bring their own virtual machine images to run on Microsoft Azure.
Azure customers will get access to Red Hat’s application platform including: including Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, Red Hat JBoss Web Server, Red Hat Gluster Storage and OpenShift, Red Hat’s platform-as-a-service offering.
I asked Mike Ferris, senior director, business architecture at Red Hat whether the companies are working on some technologies together to ensure smooth working between Azure and RHEL. He told me that “both Microsoft and Red Hat have been working to operationalize Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Azure, and to provide a smooth user experience for customers using the world's leading enterprise Linux platform on Azure, including the integrated support model that we announced in November.”
He further added that customers will be able to connect directly to the Red Hat customer portal to easily access technical information, reference architectures, how-to's, and documentation - all from Azure.
“In addition, the two teams have worked to ensure that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is fully certified by Red Hat, so that customers can be assured that they are receiving the exact same product as if they were getting it from Red Hat,” he said.
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