Why the Red Hat-Amazon partnership is a big deal in the cloud

Build an app on prem and port it into AWS's cloud

Red Hat AWS Amazon cloud OpenShift
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It’s a hybrid and multi-cloud world, at least according to Red Hat.

So this week at its Summit in Boston the company that is known for commercializing open source projects for enterprises has taken steps to further facilitate how users of its application development tools can manage workloads across public clouds and on-premises systems.

Here are the key details: Red Hat announced native access to Amazon Web Services products in its Red Hat OpenShift product. OpenShift is the company’s platform as a service (PaaS) application development software, and it’s also the company’s main tool for helping enterprises deploy application containers, including those from Docker.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Red Hat beefs up its OpenShift containerization platform +

Deeper integration between OpenShift and AWS means that OpenShift users can access services such as Amazon Aurora, the company’s cloud-based database, the Amazon RedShift data warehouse product and other cloud-based AWS services directly through OpenShift.

This is significant news for multiple reasons. Firstly, as some have pointed out, the partnership between AWS and Red Hat OpenShift further solidifies OpenShift’s standing in the market because it now has stronger ties with the leading public IaaS cloud. Secondly, it supports OpenShift as a hybrid cloud platform that allows customers to extend workloads managed in OpenShift between their on-premises infrastructure and the public IaaS cloud.

Meanwhile, OpenShift is building integrations across the cloud. Last year Red Hat and Google Cloud Platform announced a partnership between their platforms too. The idea here is that customers can deploy apps from OpenShift to AWS and Google’s clouds. One thing to watch in the future will be whether OpenShift makes it easy to transport apps between public clouds.

For AWS, the partnership makes sense too. Like many of their pacts with independent service providers, this basically amounts to an on-ramp for moving applications to the AWS cloud.

From a macro perspective, Red Hat is a healthy company: Revenues and profits have been increasing in recent years. But a key to the company’s future is continuing to develop money-making software. The company’s main cash-cow of a product from the past decade is named Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). A question from financial analysts is what will be the next big software product from Red Hat beyond RHEL. OpenShift could be that answer. With partnerships like the ones from AWS and Google, Red Hat is clearly investing heavily in it.

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