Data Centre

'We love Linux' purrs Microsoft as Red Hat, Azure go on honeymoon

Typical wedding night: Embrace, extend ... something else beginning with 'e'

By Iain Thomson in San Francisco

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Penguinistas can now run Red Hat Enterprise Linux instances on Microsoft's Azure cloud.

"Both Microsoft and I love Linux, and just days after Valentine's Day, I am ecstatic to showcase this love with several new announcements to provide you with even more open choice and flexibility for your cloud deployments on Azure," said Corey Sanders, director of program management on Azure.

Red Hat has had a team working at Microsoft HQ on the integration ever since the announcement of a partnership in November, but from Tuesday the two are ready to roll, it seems. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.7 and 7.2 images are now live in all Azure regions, except China and certain US government accounts.

Sanders said that the move towards Red Hat and open source is a logical one for Microsoft and Azure, since 60 per cent of the images on Redmond's cloud are Linux. But it's also part of a wider move by Microsoft to seduce open source users, 15 years after Steve Ballmer called it a cancer.

"Microsoft has decided that it has to compete for all workloads, period," Al Hilwa, program manager at analyst house IDC, told The Register.

"The only way to do this is to do it wholeheartedly; they are doing more in open source and trying to be on every platform. At some point everyone's going to stop marveling about this and realize it's a new world order."

In addition to the Red Hat announcement, Microsoft said that it is allowing OneOps, Walmart's open source lifecycle management tool, to work on Azure, and promised more open source announcements soon.

Microsoft is also embracing containers by making the preview build of the Azure Container Service available to all. This allows virtual machines running Docker and Mesosphere, although not Google's Kubernetes system. ®

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