Red Hat Demonstrating .NET With Linux Containers at DevNation

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Red Hat Demonstrating .NET With Linux Containers at DevNation

Now that Microsoft and Red Hat have welcomed .NET to Linux, new widely used tools are available. Red Hat's Don Schenck talks about the new possibilities and challenges of the move.

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As developers count the days until Red Hat's DevNation, which kicks off with a reception Sunday evening before getting started in earnest Monday morning, the throngs of speakers are putting the final touches on their respective presentations.

One of those speakers is Red Hat Director of Developer Experience Don Schenck, who will spend an hour talking about the new, exciting capabilities opening up in front of Java and .NET developers — and the dev world at large. If you'll be in San Francisco for DevNation (or perhaps the concurrently scheduled Red Hat Summit), Schenck will speak on June 28 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in room 130 of the convention.

As Linux-based containers have come into vogue, he'll be going into detail (with a demo handy) of how to incorporate them into the previously Linux-unfriendly world of .NET.

Schenck's job is to bring Red Hat tools to developers while also citing developers' needs to the company. "My focus is on .NET on Linux," he says.

It's a pretty fast turnaround, considering that Microsoft and Red Hat partnered in November to open up .NET to the Linux realm. Of course, announcing a plan — and even making it a reality — is different from wider acceptance.

Schenck has seen some reluctance from devs to take hold of the new opportunities. And he aims to change that. "I'm going to prove that .NET on Linux is a reality," he says, adding, "It's a brave new world."

His presentation will start off by showing .NET at the command line, demonstrating it running in Linux. 

From there, he'll take a sample music store off of GitHub (with an ASP.NET core), build a MySQL database for it, and bring in a Java microservice to read that database — all while using Docker to containerize the components.

The end result will combine all of those platforms and more. He'll use Newtonsoft's Json.NET framework, the WildFly application server, and OpenShift to work with Docker. All in all, it's going to be a polyglot's dream — a veritable smorgasbord of open source products, languages, and platforms all working toward a single goal.

"It's dogs and cats living together!" Schenck says. Mass hysteria, you get the idea.

But it's also the future. 

In the beginning, there were servers, and it was good. But lo, The Administrator came down from the heavens and said, "Why are we hosting these here?"

From there, enterprises moved their servers off-site, then just plain virtualized them and started the move toward using services. Of course, that led the way to containers and microservices, where we are today.

The long series of transitions followed the laws of efficiency and wise spending. "It's economics," Schenck says, adding that he won't be surprised if artificial intelligence comes along in the near future to help devs write their code.

But while companies switched hosting from servers to services — and various languages and platforms moved with them — .NET stood on the sidelines, firmly entrenched as a Microsoft product. "Obviously, .NET didn't run on Linux, so that was a problem," Schenck says.

But now that Red Hat and Microsoft have changed that, Schenck wants to alter that perception.

The biggest problem with spreading the word, he said, is the notion that .NET is late to the game. Developers already have their favorite tools, platforms, and frameworks, so presenting a new idea is a challenge.

But Schenck hopes his presentation will start breaking down barriers. Now, .NET can participate in the wider world of Linux-based containers, providing devs with a new card to keep in their decks.

Furthermore, he's bringing .NET into the conversation on a level that developers are ready for. "It's the microservices philosophy," he says. "You want to make them as small as possible."

For instance, the Java he'll use to read the MySQL database will do just that and only that — and he'll apply that logic to the various parts of the music store he's creating. That separation of duties, of course, makes them easier to scale. Given the popularity of microservices and the containers around them, that's an avenue he'll use to bridge the gap.

Schenck also shared his thoughts on the future of containerization. "Is it a fad or is it a trend?" he posited. "I'm kind of on the fence, but I think it's going to take off."

Either way, he foresees a lot of exposure for Java and .NET. "I think it's a very bright future," he says, adding that students and recent grads would do themselves a favor by looking into .NET (and Go, but that's a conversation for another time).

At the end of the day, he wants to foster understanding and acceptance among developers. "This is a big change for the .NET community," Schenck says. "They need to realize it and embrace it. And outside the community, they need to realize that .NET is a player."

.net, java, mysql, newtonsoft, openshift, red hat, wildfly

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