Microsoft & Openness : Empowering Customers


“Microsoft Loves Linux”, was a statement that sent shockwaves down the technology Industry and made everyone sit up and take notice of the changing times at Microsoft. Over the last decade, Microsoft has made tremendous contribution to Open Source Software and now even included OSS in its cloud services. Microsoft believes that openness is good for our customers, good for the community and good for our business and its commitment to openness and collaboration is ingrained in its day-to-day business.

Today’s consumers of technology make their choices based on parameters such as “value for cost”, “productivity”, or “economic opportunity”. Developers want to build apps with a mix of languages, runtimes, frameworks, and protocols that can run across devices and seamlessly connect with cloud solutions, reusing their existing skills, code, and tools. As platform providers, Microsoft respects the importance of choice and interoperability in a heterogeneous world and provides developers with the best tool for their jobs.

Manifestation in the Microsoft ecosystem

With its On-premise solutions as well as its Cloud, Microsoft supports a wide range of industry leading operating systems, languages, tools, and frameworks—from Windows to Linux, SQL Server to Oracle, and C #to Java and puts the best of Windows and Linux ecosystems at our fingertips. Lets see some examples below:

IT Infrastructure On-Premise:

    • Microsoft has made running and managing Linux workloads a fundamental part of their products. The enterprise management functionality in Configuration Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, and Data Protection Manager manages Linux right alongside Windows so that customers can have a single systems management infrastructure for their heterogeneous data center.
    • System Center Operations Manager has supported Linux and UNIX monitoring since 2009 and support a hundred thousand servers in production today.  Now it also includes cross-platform systems management across Windows, UNIX, and Linux in part through working with an OSS technology called OpenPegasus. System Center management also manages open source middleware such as Tomcat, JBoss, Apache Web Server, and MySQL.
    • Drivers for running Linux guests on Hyper-V became widely available for many distros in 2010, including running FreeBSD guests on Hyper-V.
    • Microsoft is working with Zend, the commercial PHP company and the PHP community to ensure that the Windows Server operating system and other Microsoft products are great platforms for PHP applications and the open source PHP development language.

On the cloud

    • Linux is a first-class citizen on Microsoft Azure Cloud, Partnership with RedHat has helped bring RHEL to Azure.
    • Take for instance, Virtual machines running on Azure – 25% of these are Linux Virtual Machines. The Azure Marketplace has more than 1,000 Linux images. Azure supports CoreOS, CentOS, OEL SUSE, OpenSuse, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Ubuntu, RedHat Enterprise Linux on Azure.
    • Azure gives first-class support for Java, Node.js, Python, Ruby, and PHP etc and open source DBs like MySQL and MongoDB. Azure also provides out-of-the box experience for open frameworks like Hadoop, web frameworks like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal and provide first party SDKs for developing apps using Android, IOS or Windows phones.
    • Azure Supports the Hadoop ecosystem and has implemented a 100% Hadoop service, called HDInsights that can be deployed on Linux in addition to Windows. Microsoft contributes to Apache Hadoop-related projects, including Tez, Stinger and Hive.
    • Azure’s Open, RESTful API for every Azure Service help lighten up new scenarios, like Internet of Things (IoT) integration or Docker containers.
    • Microsofts’ hybrid services have also included Linux e.g. Azure Site Recovery services between on-premises data centers and Azure.

Application Development lifecycle

    • More than 500 projects have been initiated by Microsoft engineers releasing code to the developer community across IronRuby, IronPython, TypeScript, the .Net Framework and Xamarin Core and many more.
    • Developers can now manage their application in the cloud with a host of popular open source DevOps tools such as Puppet, Chef, Vagrant, OpenShift, Terraform, Cloud Foundry, and more and supports deployment from Git, FTP, and TFS.
    • Powershell Desired State Configuration (DSC) for Linux lets you do consistent configuration management across Windows and Linux and is available on Github. Microsoft engineers also built a Windows Subsystem for Ubuntu Linux in partnership with Canonical.
    • Microsoft also contributes to a number of open standards specs such as: W3C, IETF, OASIS, ECMA, DMTF, and open source communities including: JQuery, MongoDB, Apache Cordova, Redis, Apache, Qpid, .NET Foundation, OpenJDK, Eclipse, Node.js, Cocos2d,  Web Platform Docs, Symfony, Doctrine, WebKit, GitHub, CodePlex and more.

Conclusion

In the changing landscape of the IT world, the boundaries between open source and proprietary technologies are diminishing very fast. Customers want the best in areas such as Cloud, Mobility, DevOps and Data Science – from BI to Machine Intelligence. Microsoft is certainly taking the right steps in making their cloud “open, broad, and flexible cloud”. Microsoft’s openness commitment is about empowering customers with Freedom of choice, with Freedom to change and move your data where you chose to put it, and about maximizing value at the lowest possible cost.

 

Note: This article was first published in the CIO Review India December 2016 edition on {Page 23}

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