Red Hat lifts lid on Microsoft tie-ups covering OpenShift and serverless

Red Hat unwrapped a series of alliances with Microsoft this week, just months ahead of its impending takeover by IBM.

At the Red Hat Summit in Boston, the open source company announced general availability of Azure Red Hat OpenShift. According to Red Hat, the move “brings a jointly-managed enterprise-grade Kubernetes solution to a leading public cloud, Microsoft Azure.”

Red Hat described it as “the first jointly managed OpenShift offering in the public cloud”. Red Hat has previously offered OpenShift as an on-prem option or via its own hosted and managed flavours.

Tying up with the “public cloud might of Microsoft,” said Red Hat, means “Customers receive an integrated experience, including unified sign-up, on-boarding, service management and technical support.” The “experience” is further streamlined because it is charged to customers’ existing Azure bill.

As well as handling billing, the service will also take care of cluster management, and regulatory compliance, and provide access to other Azure services such as “Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Machine Learning and Azure SQL DB for building the next-generation of cloud-native enterprise applications.”

Over at Microsoft’s Build conference for developers, Microsoft debuted KEDA, which it described as “a new open source project aimed at providing an event-driven scale capability for any container workload”.

The name stands for Kubernetes-based Event-Driven Autoscaling, and Red Hat said it would be contributing to the product, and “bringing its utility to customers using enterprise Kubernetes and containers with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.”

In a blog post announcing the project, Azure Functions senior programme manager Jeff Hollan said that scaling in Kubernetes is “reactive” and the aim of KEDA was “to bring the benefits of event-driven architectures and the productivity of functions to Kubernetes”.

He added that KEDA and its tooling works with “Kafka, Azure Queues, Azure Service Bus, RabbitMQ, HTTP, and Azure Event Grid / Cloud Event” with other triggers on the way.

Red Hat said it has used KEDA to enable Azure Functions on OpenShift, and has released the technology as a developer preview. It said this would “deliver a hybrid FaaS solution that can consume events from Azure Services as well as other additional event sources available in Knative.”

“Hybrid, multicloud strategies are now the norm, and collaborating with Microsoft to enable more choice in the hybrid cloud is something Red Hat has done for the last several years,” Red Hat said in a blog posting.

The moves represent an on-going tightening of the Microsoft-Red Hat relationship. What effect the open source vendor’s upcoming takeover by IBM remains to be seen.