Red Hat Adds Microsoft .NET to Its OpenShift PaaS

Red Hat expands its open-source platform-as-a-service efforts with support for Microsoft technologies, but it's not production-ready (yet).

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Red Hat announced today that Microsoft .NET applications can now run on its open-source OpenShift platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technology. Since its inception in 2011, Red Hat's OpenShift has enabled open-source programming languages including Python, PHP and Ruby to run, but until today .NET was not a real option for users.

The OpenShift support for .NET, however, is currently very limited and isn't even directly integrated from Red Hat either. NET support in OpenShift is currently available only via a community download from software vendor Uhuru, Chris Morgan, technical director of the OpenShift Partner Ecosystem at Red Hat, told eWEEK.

"We are working on merging that into OpenShift Origin so it can be accessed directly there as well," Morgan said. "We have not yet announced commercial plans for a supported .NET add-on capability in OpenShift Online [public PaaS] and OpenShift Enterprise [private PaaS] products."

The OpenShift Origin project is Red Hat's community open-source PaaS and does not benefit from any direct commercial support. The OpenShift Online public PaaS is a hosted platform that has both free and paid tiers of usage. The Red Hat OpenShift Enterprise product provides on-premises private PaaS technology to organizations.

Since .NET is a Microsoft technology, there can sometimes also be associated intellectual property and patent-related concerns, especially when it comes to combining it with open-source technology. Red Hat is currently not providing any form of legal indemnification for the use of the Uhuru technology with OpenShift.

"For now, this is community only and a contribution from Uhuru Software, and they have released that under an open-source license," Morgan said. "Red Hat is not offering a productized version of this capability yet in OpenShift Online and OpenShift Enterprise, and therefore indemnification is not applicable."

Morgan emphasized that neither Uhuru nor the Red Hat OpenShift Origin community is providing any Microsoft Windows software. Any specific Windows software that a user might need to fully enable a .NET deployment—which might include the use of a Microsoft Windows operating system, Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) and Microsoft SQL Server technologies—is something that a user would need to own or have to procure.

Uhuru isn't the only software vendor that has attempted to provide an open-source implementation of .NET. The Mono project was originally started by Novell back in 2004 as an effort to bring .NET to open source. Mono development is currently led by Xamarin, which is a company started by former Novell employees.

"We explored Mono, but found too many compatibility issues with Mono and .NET to make it viable for serious .NET shops and that was also consistent with customer feedback that we received," Morgan said. "We felt it was important to have .NET apps run on native Windows nodes for maximum compatibility."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.