Microsoft’s Promisses & Commitment to Open Source Software
For years, public seems to have an impression that Microsoft and Linux have been at odds. Frankly, it’s not just Linux, it’s Open Source software in general. Recently, Microsoft has done a lot of work in the area of embracing Open Source software and the support for Linux in Hyper-V is part of what Microsoft calls its commitment to Open Source.
This is good news for those who run Windows and Linux. In Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 Microsoft offers the ability to use a single infrastructure to run and manage Windows and Linux guest virtual machines. Needless to say, this functionality simplifies operations and processes and is a welcome enhancement for Linux users. According to Microsoft, you no longer have to deal with the complexity of handling Windows one way and Linux another, and complex applications that have Windows and Linux components are no longer a special case that must span two infrastructures.
Microsoft’s goal is to make Hyper-V and Windows to be the best cloud for Linux.
“Microsoft developers have built the drivers for Linux that we call the Linux Integration Services, or “LIS.” Synthetic drivers for network and disk provide performance that nearly equals the performance of bare hardware. Other drivers provide housekeeping for time synchronization, shutdown, and heartbeat. Directly in Hyper-V, we have built features to enable live backups for Linux guests, and we have exhaustively tested to ensure that Hyper-V features, like live migration (including the super performance improvements in 2012 R2), work for Linux guests just like they do for Windows guests. In total, we worked across the board to ensure Linux is at its best on Hyper-V.
To ensure compliance, Microsoft had done this LIS development as a member of the Linux community. The drivers are reviewed by the community and checked into the main Linux kernel source code base. Linux distribution vendors then pull the drivers from the main Linux kernel and incorporate them into specific distributions. LIS is currently a built-in part of these distributions:
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9 and 6.4
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2 and SP3
- Ubuntu Server 12.04, 12.10, and 13.04
- CentOS 5.9 and 6.4
- Oracle Linux 6.4 (Red Hat Compatible Kernel)
- Debian GPU/Linux 7.0″
Microsoft is embracing Open Source Software and lists a couple of recent partnerships as a proof:
1. Customers can now run Oracle software on Windows Server Hyper-V and in Windows Azure encompassing Java, Oracle Database, and Oracle WebLogic Server.
2. A new Java development kit (JDK) will be available through a partnership with Azul Systems. This will enable customers to deploy Java applications on Windows Azure using open source Java – on Windows and Linux.
There’s a lot more to this story. Check out this article What’s New in 2012 R2: Enabling Open Source Software.
Here are some links related to this topic.
- Running and Managing Linux and UNIX with Hyper-V and System Center
This channel 9 video session provides technical details and demos of how to leverage System Center to manage Linux and UNIX systems.
- Enabling Linux Support on Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V
Details of the range of new features and capabilities that have been implemented to improve the performance, operation and management of Linux on Hyper-V.
- Enabling Management of Open Source Software in System Center Using Standards
An overview of the standards-based management approach that System Center has implemented to manage open source software, with a detailed look at the management implementation in the UNIX/Linux agents for Operations Manager and Configuration Manager.
- Extending Inventory on Linux and UNIX computers in Configuration Manager
A detailed look at the new features centered on OMI that have extended Configuration Manager’s capabilities for performing inventory of Linux and UNIX systems.