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Microsoft Really Does (Heart) Linux!

When the world’s two foremost data centre operating system companies start collaborating, we should all sit up and pay attention! Arctiq specializes in the integration of open source solutions to support modern IT transformation. From virtualization to containers, across public, private, and hybrid cloud platforms, and the glue that is automation and orchestration, the Arctiq team helps our clients navigate the murky waters. To this end, the marriage between Microsoft and Red Hat is more than simply intriguing. Moving past the initial marketing and into some real world solutions is where things get interesting. Approximately one year into their “partnership” we are starting to see some real collaborative outcomes.

The power to build and run Microsoft SQL databases on hardened RHEL instances (managed by Satellite) is a good start. Deploying the OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) in Azure starts to get exciting. Integrating Red Hat Identity Management (IdM) with Active Directory in Azure for federated authentication across cloud instances, tied all together with Ansible Playbooks, starts to look like a lifecycle solution for modern workloads.

At Actiq, we are already building Red Hat OCP lab environments in Azure, and using Ansible tooling to automate it all. We’re actively working with clients to identify and define real-world use cases. We’re taking requests if you have any MS + RH integration challenges your company is trying to solve! Better yet, join us at our upcoming Microsoft + Red Hat webinar, hosted by Arctiq + an award winning Microsoft partner. Hey, if Microsoft and Red Hat can get along, then why can’t two of their advanced solution providers? Stay tuned for the date and time announcement of not only the upcoming webinar, but a number of other initiatives, including in-person technical demonstrations, solution focused blogs, and client-focused proof-of-concepts.

Arctiq’s clients tend to be large enterprises, such as banks, telcos, and cross-functional government organizations. These enterprises are putting in significant time and effort to adapt and transform to meet the coming demands of modern business. A large bank cannot wait until the last minute to retool and rebuild key applications on a CI/CD driven container platform…it takes time. Today these enterprises are getting more choice, more flexibility, and can build integrated solutions based on two of their largest and most important software providers. It’s a big deal. Really.

Of course, these two communities typically react like oil and water. Just because two software vendors decide to cooperate, doesn’t mean the community will automatically follow. We’re talking some deep seeded roots here (CLI vs. GUI only scratches the surface!). Microsoft didn’t become Open overnight, and Red Hat took years to be accepted as a data centre O/S. The lifelong Linux SysAdmin isn’t lining up to get her copy of Windows for Dummies anytime soon. And the Windows admins won’t drop all their normal processes for PowerShell scripting and Ansible Playbooks overnight.

That’s where Arctiq comes into play. Through our Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach, Arctiq helps our clients and their teams take small bites of success at a time. Tackling foundational components first; building IdM and AD integration; testing SQL on RHEL; deploying OCP on Azure as a potential PoC target…the options will soon become endless. And Microsoft is being generous with free trial instances to kick the tires. You can even lock into their new Canadian cloud instance if your business has data residency concerns (only certain services available as Canada-only today).

Microsoft and Red Hat have committed to expanding their relationship and collaborative solutions. Based on Arctiq’s client engagements and feedback from our community events, that’s a very good thing! Today, customers can use Red Hat Cloud Access to bring their RHEL subscriptions to Azure and run RHEL, Atomic Host, JBoss EAP, JBoss Web Server, Gluster Storage, and OpenShift, all on Azure. In the works is .NET support for building and deploying .NET applications on RHEL, along with the ability to manage Azure virtual machines alongside on-premises deployments with CloudForms. In addition to all this goodness, the two companies are providing collaborative support to clients.

Here are some additional information sources for the Microsoft and Red Hat relationship:

Welcome to the Microsoft and Red Hat love-in. Take the first step and engage Arctiq to help with strategy, architecture, or implementation services.

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Mike Morrison

Mike is President and co-founder of Arctiq.