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Today at the Red Hat Summit, Microsoft announced a wide array of new services, including availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 images, SQL Server 2017 on RHEL 8, and the general availability of Ansible 2.8 and Certified Ansible Modules on Azure alongside the Azure Red Hat OpenShift GA.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 and tooling

The key capabilities that come with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 provide our customers a more cloud-centric and container-based IT infrastructure for Red Hat workloads running on Azure.

Users can enjoy faster time-to-production by using the new built-in features in RHEL 8, including Application Streams that streamline access to open source packages, enhanced system design, automation capabilities, and integrations via API driven control plane. Most importantly, RHEL 8 comes with a seamless non-disruptive migration process for existing RHEL 7 deployments to upgrade to the latest version and reduce any potential friction in your compute environment.

To better manage your application development lifecycle, the Azure Image Builder service is now in public preview for customers who want full autonomy building RHEL images at their own pace. Azure also provides a unique Serial Console to help you troubleshoot your RHEL VMs easier.

SQL Server 2019 with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 and OpenShift Container Support

Red Hat and Microsoft continue to work together to enhance the overall experience for SQL Server administrators on the RHEL platform. While a new record for the 10TB TPC-H benchmark has been accomplished with the combination of SQL Server 2017 and Red Hat Linux 7.6, SQL Server 2019 will empower even more users and enable the latest innovations on RHEL 8 and OpenShift, including big data clusters, built-in machine learning, enterprise-grade performance and availability improvements, and much more. Customers will be able to try out SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server 2017 in Red Hat environments with the latest packages for RHEL 8, which will be available over the next few weeks.

In addition, Red Hat Insights strengthens the joint value of SQL Server and RHEL, providing security, built-in automated tuning, and availability features at the OS level, similar to the capabilities provided by SQL Server at the application level. This offers a holistic and proactive monitoring capability that enables customers to automatically identify optimizations and prevent system risks.

To learn more, please join Louis Imershein, Principal Product Manager at Red Hat, and Bob Ward, Microsoft SQL Server Architect, this Thursday as they discuss the new Red Hat Insights features and other exciting enhancements in their session on how to deploy a modern data platform with SQL Server 2019 on RHEL 8.

Ansible 2.8 and Ansible Certified Modules

With the release of Ansible 2.8 (available May 16th), Microsoft continues our commitment to ensure Azure provides a great experience for Ansible users. We are happy to announce our biggest release to date with new modules supporting a wide range of Azure services, including Redis Cache, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Database for MySQL, Azure Database for PostgreSQL, SQL database, and enhanced support for advanced networking features for Virtual Networks and Virtual Machine Scale Sets.

We are also excited to announce that Azure is now the first cloud provider to be included in the Ansible Automation Certification Program. Certified Ansible modules provide customers peace of mind, knowing modules are rigorously tested and vetted before release and are supported by both Microsoft and Red Hat. Customers using certified modules can file support tickets using either Red Hat or Microsoft support channels. See a full list of Ansible certified Azure modules here.

With these new announcements, along with the integrated support of Ansible for Azure CloudShell, Visual Studio Code Ansible extension, and the Azure Marketplace solution for Ansible, Azure users have the best toolbox for automating with Ansible.

In summary, the collaboration between Microsoft and Red Hat continues to grow, providing our joint customers with the most complete coverage for all Red Hat solutions running on Azure and enabling faster and more consistent delivery in any deployment footprint. Our industry leading integrated technical support will also help to ease management and modernize your application development cycle.

Questions or feedback on these announcements? Let us know in the comments below.

More product information and documentation

Red Hat on Azure

Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Azure documentation

Azure Image Builder

What’s new in SQL Server 2019 preview

Installing Microsoft SQL Server on RHEL 8 Beta

SQL Server 2019 on OpenShift

Ansible on Azure documentation

Ansible module and version matrix

List of Ansible certified modules

Visual Studio Code extension for Ansible

For direct feedback to product team, email us at AnsibleonAzure@service.microsoft.com