Red Hat OpenShift to Support Windows Containers from 2021

Dec. 29, 2020, 1:32 a.m. in Orchestration

Topline

Starting in early 2021, Red Hat OpenShift will begin supporting Windows containers. Companies that operate on multi-cloud infrastructure using Linux and Windows will find it easier to run operations. This is because Windows containers on Windows servers can be managed by the same OpenShift Kubernetes managing the rest of the system.

Container images, being small, can be stored, tracked, and versioned, like any other code fragment in version control
Container images, being small, can be stored, tracked, and versioned, like any other code fragment in version control
Key Facts
  1. 1

    Starting from next year, Red Hat OpenShift will allow companies running both Windows and Linux workloads the benefit of a single Kubernetes platform. Red Hat OpenShift users can access the WMCO (Windows Machine Config Operator) via the Operator Hub to begin managing their Windows Containers within the OpenShift console.

  2. 2

    Companies will now have greater flexibility and more control across various environments. Developers would be able to move Windows containers to Red Hat OpenShift without writing new code or completely re-doing the entire structure.

  3. 3

    Red Hat Open Shift would also reduce deployment costs for container-based workloads across heterogeneous IT environments.

  4. 4

    By offering Cloud-Native management through a single platform, Red Hat OpenShift will improve productivity and DevOps agility.

  5. 5

    With the added capability, OpenShift will support .NET Core applications, .NET Framework applications, and other Windows applications. Initially, running Windows containers on OpenShift will be supported on bare-metal servers, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM Cloud, with support for VMware vSphere in the works.

More

Running Windows containers on Kubernetes can work, however, it can be a bit more complicated than it appears. Container images, being small, can be stored, tracked, and versioned, like any other code fragment in version control. The way that Linux manages processes, any modern Linux can run any other version of Linux as a container. Windows, on the other hand, are not built that way, and even a small change like updating the server could stop the container components from running.

Microsoft Windows can be run on Docker containers and has been for years. However, getting it into Kubernetes is just not the same. Also, fitting Windows into a container is no mean task. With 3.4 million files, Windows claim to be the largest git repository in the world.

Kubernetes authors announced support for running Windows containers in April 2019. However, that is only possible if your worker nodes in Kubernetes are running Windows Server 2019.

Both Openshift and Kubernetes are the most popular container management systems.


The new Red Hat OpenShift project will help address growing IT demands by bringing Windows and Linux containers to a single streamlined platform for the hybrid cloud.

Red Hat OpenShift already provides enterprises with a powerful foundation to connect workloads across the hybrid cloud, and with each new feature or capability, we aim to further that mission. With Red Hat OpenShift support for Windows Containers, organizations no longer need to manage separate IT stacks for their Linux and Windows containers - helping to break down silos and make it easier for enterprises to pursue their cloud-native agenda.
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Ashesh Badani
Senior Vice President of Cloud Platforms
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