Red Hat Adds Support for Windows Containers

Red Hat today announced it has made an instance of the Red Hat OpenShift application development and deployment platform based on Kubernetes available that can run Windows Containers.

Stu Miniman, director of market insights for cloud platforms for Red Hat, says the time to make Red Hat OpenShift available for Windows containers is now because the Windows Server 2019 platform is now being rolled out by enterprise IT organizations with greater frequency.

Although Microsoft embraced containers in 2014, the underlying infrastructure required to build, deploy and manage containers in Windows environments at scale is only just now becoming widely accessible. As a result, the rate at which containers are starting being deployed on Windows platforms is starting to accelerate.

Red Hat OpenShift is a catalyst for IT teams in making this transition—in addition to running cloud-native applications based on containers on the platform, they can take advantage of Red Hat Virtualization to encapsulate legacy applications based on Hyper-V virtual machines as well. Red Hat Virtualization is based on open source KubeVirt software that makes it possible to encapsulate kernel-based virtual machines (KVM) in a container.

Red Hat OpenShift supports .NET Core applications and .NET Framework applications along with other legacy Windows applications. Organizations can then run Windows containers on Red Hat OpenShift on multiple clouds, local virtual machines or bare-metal servers. Red Hat is also pledging to add support for VMware vSphere platforms at some unspecified date.

Red Hat OpenShift enables Windows Containers to run using the Windows Machine Config Operator (WMCO), a certified OpenShift operator based on the Kubernetes Operator Framework supported jointly by Red Hat and Microsoft. IT teams can access the Windows Machine Config Operator from their OpenShift console via the Operator Hub Red Hat created.

While Linux and Windows containers can only run on their respective platforms, Miniman notes Red Hat OpenShift presents IT organizations the opportunity to centralize the management of both platforms from within the same console. At a time when IT organizations are under increased pressure to reduce the total cost of IT, that capability will prove crucial as organizations move further down the path toward embracing true hybrid cloud computing, he says. IBM last year acquired Red Hat for $34 billion in anticipation of a large-scale shift toward hybrid cloud computing.

It’s still unclear how long that transition to hybrid cloud computing might take. Most IT teams are already managing multiple clouds in isolation from one another. However, with the rise of edge computing IT environments are becoming even more distributed. That shift is likely to force organizations to reevaluate their IT strategies as they look to minimizer operational costs.

Of course, IT teams may not have to deploy Red Hat OpenShift everywhere to achieve that goal. However, it certainly becomes easier to centralize the management of IT when the same core IT platform is running everywhere an application workload is deployed.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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