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I'm not fooling myself into seeing this as anything but a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" setup. RedHat is getting a ton out of this, and so is Microsoft.

Who's the main target for Azure? Enterprise companies who trust Microsoft implicitly. When an exec comes to the head of IT and says "we need to be on the cloud! I read about it!", Azure eases the transition by being able to go to vendor you've already been using for a dozen years.

RedHat's core audience is enterprise as well. RHEL is the de facto standard for that level of infrastructure due to the support you can get versus any of the distributions that are equally as good, but minus the support contracts.

So, they're helping each other out and that's good in my humble opinion.

Microsoft's new direction under their new CEO is one surprise after another. I've only tinkered with Azure so far but makes me want to pay MS more attention than I would have a couple years ago.




> Microsoft's new direction under their new CEO is one surprise after another.

I don't know about that, it all seems fairly logical. Don't forget that Microsoft is primarily a "business business" rather than a software business (ie. optimizing for business longevity above all else).

Microsoft appears to have practically perfected the game of "maintaining vendor lock-in in an otherwise open ecosystem". That game requires "giving in" at times, when it is no longer viable (in the long term) to compete with other options.

A good example of this is the open-sourcing of .NET. I don't believe for a second that this was a change of heart of a developer or even a team - it is far more likely that Microsoft is realizing the increasing shift away from Windows and .NET, and towards more 'open' platforms (whether Python, Node.js, Ruby, Golang, or whatever else).

It is in their best interest to make .NET open-source, as it allows them to maintain their foothold in the application development community - it still has direct integration with the rest of their products (and thus incentivizes picking MS as a vendor), but can now compete on openness.

You can see something similar for Windows 10, and it being given away for free. Both OS X and Linux are increasingly eating away at Windows' marketshare. By offering it for 'free' to existing Windows users (ie. nearly everybody), they can attempt to win users back, as it is now offered at the same price (in the eyes of the consumer).

Throughout the existence of Microsoft, they have consistently pushed the boundary of vendor lock-in and marketshare, trying to keep it as closed as possible but as open as necessary. The more recent decisions from Microsoft are not surprising to me at all - they are simply the result of a rapidly changing computing landscape. Microsoft hasn't changed, their environment has.


> I don't know about that, it all seems fairly logical.

For people dealing with Microsoft for many years... this is the surprising part.


The open sourcing of the Dotnet CLR and compilers is done for more than just competing with other open source languages, didn't Microsoft offer to buy out Unity which was based on Mono and other things?

Microsoft open sources their languages and then buys out the company that does the best job in making it crossplatform with as many platforms as possible.

What Microsoft can't do they usually buy out a company that can do what they can't. Getting Visual Studio for other platforms is near impossible for them, so they open source the CLR and compilers and see who can do a better job at porting them to other platforms.

Microsoft makes a lot of money selling Workstation and Server version of Windows to businesses as well as Visual Studio licenses and BackOffice (SQL Server, Exchange Server, ISA Server, Sharepoint, etc) for Windows Servers to make custom apps on. Not to mention Office licenses and other software for businesses.

New CEO got Microsoft into the Cloud and Cloud services, so it only makes sense to make a deal with Red Hat for an Azure Server deal to sell to more businesses that want a GNU/Linux solution with paid support.


Azure has been mostly Linux Applications for a while now. Whenever Enterprise wants a contract they almost exclusively think Red Hat. So this makes sense for both of them to team up.I also don't see any fallout in the community because of this.

Since Ubuntu ruling the cloud instances this also makes sense for Red Hat.


Ubuntu rules cloud instances elsewhere? I almost always see the choices as CentOS or RedHat. But that might be my myopic view cause I am always just looking for those right off the bat.


Ubuntu is usually the first to be offered by most cloud services (especially on free tiers), because its a good compromise between a liberal license, commercial support and light requirements. This gave it a good momentum in some quarters, although I agree that it doesn't really look like "domination".

It would be cool to get numbers across all providers, in terms of deployed instances of this or that OS. There's a good story to write, there.


Ubuntu was made the default instance on EC2 (even though EC2 is built on RHEL/CentOS/XenServer).

That's were Canonical began to gain traction regarding installs, yet they still can't find a way to get users into support contracts en masse like Red Hat has been able to.


> Ubuntu was made the default instance on EC2

Citation needed. If Amazon Linux is still the default, you're wrong. It is based on CentOS, uses RPMs and yum.


I thought that was common knowledge? Amazon Linux is now the default instance, but that was not always the case. Ubuntu enjoyed a huge uptick in "cloud" usage because of EC2.


Amazon Linux is not based on Ubuntu.

(And I edited my comment since the wording was unclear... sorry if that caused confusion)


I think they mean Ubuntu was the default before Amazon Linux was even a thing. As I recall, that's correct, but I don't know where to find a citation on that. Amazon Linux only rolled out to production in 11/2011, so less than half of EC2's life: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Machine_Image#Amazon_Li.... It's


Ah, you might be right. I can't find anything in a quick search of archive.org and old press releases, except that Canonical did offer an official Ubuntu AMI pretty far back in the day. Still can't find out what the default EC2 linux was based off though.



It depends on what you are going to use it for.

Ubuntu has gotten some solid traction in the "web" end of things, while RH is more "infrastructure".


CentOS / RHEL are non-starters for cutting edge work in machine learning due to their ancient mathematics and scientific libraries


Almost everything else is a non-starter in commercial settings because of their lack of credible support contracts.


Sorry I don't see how. RHEL7 is quite modern, however, you could always get bleeding edge anything with software collections[1], of which Redhat has a blessed set of packages in software collections named the developer toolset[2].

[1] https://www.softwarecollections.org/en/

[2] http://developerblog.redhat.com/tag/developer-toolset/


Msft to buy Red Hat?


Azure is the OS. Red hat's stuff is the application.


Yes.

And different Linux flavors were already on Azure as "applications" prior to this deal.

But now RedHat is getting the official stamp.

If Azure the OS only had Windows the App, that would be a great failing. MS is smart and playing Azure out to not just promote other MS products. Expanding it as an ecosystem for various OSes is a Good Thing.


Yes, besides any sufficiently lucrative enterprise customer is bound to have a few Lunix boxes for $ENTERPRISE_APP they can't live without.

I say this as someone who works for an ISV that is single-handedly responsible for the only Linux servers most of our customers have.


>RHEL is the de facto standard for that level of infrastructure due to the support you can get versus any of the distributions that are equally as good, but minus the support contracts.

This was the biz model for LinuxCare.... but they failed.


Yet it seems to be working well for RedHat.


Yup - its good for both - which is what is fantastic about Microsoft's new direction.


> I'm not fooling myself into seeing this as anything but a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" setup. RedHat is getting a ton out of this, and so is Microsoft.

That's the point of a partnership.


Almost like it was planned.


It's not a trust thing. Microsoft is wheeling and dealing with Azure. So you won't get a deal on O365 or Dynamics anymore, but you can buy Azure credits at a discount.

They are using Azure as a loss leader to get you hooked, then the price goes up. This new SaaS world is kind of like buying cars.


Given the pricing compared to AWS and others, I don't think they're losing money on it... It was my first choice when I stopped self-hosting a windows server for some personal projects/sites. Though I'm on about the smallest option, and that is running me around $10-12 a month, I'm using CloudFlare in front of the 5 websites on that box.

That said, nothing big, and planning to migrate things to linux solutions but time and motivation don't always align for personal stuff at the end of the work day.

They seem to be one of the better options if you need hosted windows anything as part of your cloud strategy. And having played around with Azure's other services [1], it seems to work pretty well all around. I did find the default interfaces for Azure's storage a bit difficult to work with, so I created a wrapper with imho a nicer interface.

[1] https://www.npmjs.com/package/azure-storage-simple


Our Dynamics reseller was adamant that we run it in-house. You could run it on Azure, but we don't recommend it. It's just not there yet.


I wonder if that is really true or:

1) The reseller doesn't know how it runs over Azure (I had this with vendors sticking to in-house Sharepoint vs Sharepoint online mostly from a "we don't know how" angle we found out)

or

2) Does the reseller also make money from in-house vs on Azure? Like, their hardware? Anything like that? Just curious.

I mean, he could also honestly think that Azure isn't there yet either. I could just be curmudgeonly and doubting the reseller.


Sometimes with heavily DB bound apps, it's a performance/scalability issue. Doubly so if the app's DB relies on aggressive locking for most/all of its transactions. You can do it with clouds but you often pay through the nose for the adequate storage (or cheat with 512GB of RAM these days.)

I've seen folks spend 3-4x more money (almost all of the excess to the SAN vendor) to get a VMware setup (because snapshots and VMotions) with the same reliable I/O a commodity Dell server with a 4-disks SAS Raid-10 and a decent RAID controller can deliver, not even talking SSDs here.


So much this.

We always said to use "the right tool for the right job", isn't it? There are a lot of apps for which virtualized infrastructure is just not a good fit from a technical standpoint. When these end up in the cloud because suits decided OpEx is sweeter than CapEx, they suffer horribly; the customer ends up paying more (because prolonged I/O spikes in the cloud can be hugely expensive), the application runs slower than it did 5 years ago on commodity hardware, and nobody is happy.

Still, suits decided cloud it must be, so cloud it will be. Sometimes the IT sector is depressing.


I think I confused the point. When you say "Microsoft, I'm buying X more licenses for Dynamics, give me a discount." they reply, "How about no discount, but some cheap Azure instead?"




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