Recently, Scott Guthrie, the Executive Vice President of the Cloud and Enterprise Group at Microsoft, announced a brand new first time partnership between Microsoft and Red Hat Linux. Red Hat Linux is one of the most popular choices for enterprise grade Linux in the data center, and this partnership will allow customers to Red Hat What does this partnership get enterprise customers exactly? Let’s take a look.

When we hear the word Microsoft, often our first thought is Windows, Microsoft’s flagship product, an operating system for computers whether they be in your home or in you datacenter. Lately, Microsoft has been beginning to step out of their comfort zone. They’ve announced their own Linux derivative for powering their Azure cloud switch, and future support for SSH, something predominantly found in Linux environments. The world has been shifting more towards open source technologies, as we’ve also watched the rise of OpenStack and Docker. Microsoft is not one to be left behind, and has been constantly innovating to meed the demands of the ever shifting world.

First and foremost, consumers of the Azure Cloud for their Windows deployments will be able to seamlessly deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux workloads, as the Azure Cloud becomes a Red Hat LInux Certified Cloud and Service Provider according to the Red Hat press release. This certification will also include Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, Red Hat JBoss Web Server, and a number of other Red Hat products. Those enterprises which choose to leverage the Azure Cloud to enable their Red Hat Linux environments will also benefit from co-located support, with both companies at the same site. This is to ensure customers minimize the bumps they may encounter in the road as they begin to run Windows and Linux side by side in their cloud deployments. The partnership will also provide an enhanced management experience, Red Hat CloudForms working in conjunction with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, enabling CloudForms to manage Linux on both Hyper-V and in the Azure Cloud.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced .NET both the Linux and Mac platforms. This partnership also takes .NET on Linux to a new level, as Microsoft will now develop .NET on Linux primarily on Red Hat Linux. The new Microsoft and Red Hat partnership has already begun to gain momentum, and greatly enhance the enterprise Linux space at Microsoft. Along with SSH support on Windows, .NET is another logical step for cross pollination between the two operating systems.

While it may seem like politics makes strange bedfellows, so too does the public cloud. It is all happening in the name of customer satisfaction, which is the right reason to tear down the previous walls of competition. There may be much more competition coming in future offerings on Microsoft Azure, and as the shift towards consuming IT from cloud resources continues, Red Hat may find itself a premium part of that new face of IT alongside powerful partners like Microsoft.

Microsoft has shown that it is clearly willing to make concessions where its own platforms are unable to fill the gaps that have opened up in customer requirements. This is a rather interesting change from the once dominant approach of Microsoft, often regarded as one of the early vendors whose stance was “if we don’t make it, you don’t need it”.  Microsoft has certainly changed its ways in the last several years to remain competitive and innovative in the every evolving enterprise data center, and enterprise cloud, whether it be public or private. So, as the old adage goes, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!