Google and Red Hat had a Kumbaya moment today when the two companies announced integration between Red Hat's OpenShift platform as a service and Google's IaaS public cloud platform.
Specifically, Red Hat will offer OpenShift Dedicated, the managed OpenShift cloud service on Google’s Cloud Platform (GCP). It's a win-win for both companies.
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Since Diane Greene came on board at Google we've been waiting for some news from Google. While not every little announcement from Google should be viewed as Greene acting as a puppeteer, these moves also would not be happening if she disagreed with them. So, I think it’s safe to surmise that Greene's fingerprints are beginning to show up at GCP.
It's a good partnership for Google. At its most basic level, this is a big customer win for Google’s cloud. Red Hat will be running its PaaS on top of Google’s IaaS. Down the line, the two companies will partner to integrate Google Cloud Platform features into the OpenShift platform.
Job number one for Greene, according to many in the industry I've spoken with, was to build up enterprise traction for Google's cloud. Red Hat is as good of a partner as any to do that with. This is not a new partnership though. Before Greene came on board, Google began offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) OS on its cloud. They’re partnered on the Cloud Native Computing Foundation too.
It's a good move for Red Hat too. The venerable open source giant is trying to build itself up as THE container focused company. And Google’s cloud is seen as one of the best platforms for running containers, thanks to its Kubernetes container manager. Red Hat completely redesigned OpenShift to be a container-centric PaaS. So it makes sense that Red Hat would want to host OpenShift on the best IaaS for containers. The move reinforces the need for PaaS vendors to find an IaaS partner. Salesforce's Heroku, for example, runs atop Amazon Web Services.
Another interesting note is that Google has a partnership with VMware too. Google provide scale-out IaaS capacity beyond VMware’s vCloudAir’s capabilities. VMware and Red Hat are fierce competitors. Greene will have to navigate these partnership waters carefully. But at this point all of the partnerships (Google/Red Hat and Google/VMware) make perfect sense for all these companies.