Microsoft to allow Linux to run on Windows Azure

Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud-based platform will soon allow users to operate a new persistent virtual machine feature. ZDNet.com reports via unnamed sources that this new feature will be tested in the spring of 2012.

The upshot of this new feature is that Windows Azure will allow either Windows or a Linux-based operating system to run on the virtual machine without losing state. The report also claims that this new persistent virtual machine feature will also feature support for SQL Server or SharePoint Server applications.

While the current version of Windows Azure does have virtual machine support, an anonymous user stated, "The current VM role when rebooted or randomly recycled by the Azure platform loses any data stored — any persistence. So for applications that rely on the machine name or files/config that constitute 'state' not stored in SQL Azure (or externally), this is a problem. This is also one of the technical reasons why you wouldn’t try running SharePoint on the current Azure VM role."

In addition, the report also says that businesses have been asking for added Linux support for Windows Azure. It also claims that when the test version of the persistent virtual machine feature is launched, Microsoft won't officially support Linux running on it. Customers who want to run Linux will have to provide their own images. So far Microsoft has yet to comment on this report.

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so what's new about this, if you want to run linux in a Virtual Machine you can today, and have been able to do so for many years. 99.99% of the population aren't interested in linux though, and never will be.

dvb2000 said,
so what's new about this, if you want to run linux in a Virtual Machine you can today, and have been able to do so for many years. 99.99% of the population aren't interested in linux though, and never will be.

99.99% of enterprise use Linux and are interested.

dvb2000 said,
so what's new about this, if you want to run linux in a Virtual Machine you can today, and have been able to do so for many years. 99.99% of the population aren't interested in linux though, and never will be.

Really? I wonder who pays for all those Red Hat and Oracle licences then, it ain't the general public that's for sure.

dvb2000 said,
so what's new about this, if you want to run linux in a Virtual Machine you can today, and have been able to do so for many years. 99.99% of the population aren't interested in linux though, and never will be.

So "your" 99% will use Azure? Or is it more like the 99% of enterprise will use it? Linux is not used by the consumer but it is used more by the enterprise.

dvb2000 said,
so what's new about this, if you want to run linux in a Virtual Machine you can today, and have been able to do so for many years. 99.99% of the population aren't interested in linux though, and never will be.

This is about how Azure is allowing and letting Linux run, which actually expands what Linux can currently do itself, as it does not have a cloud OS model. This lets a corporation move locally served Linux systems and data to Windows Azure that can move itself from server to server and propagate to other servers as processing is needed.

It is a good thing for Enterprise that was conned into Linux over the past few years, as they can migrate up and away from being locked into non-cloud solutions.

Windows Azure is not just a VM or a way to run VMs. It shifts processing and allocate more on the fly across servers and locations, without being locked to a physical server.

Although people will call you statement 'trollish', the truth is most people outside of enterprise don't care about Linux, nor do they truly care about UNIX. Windows 7 right now provides one of the best UNIX subysytems out there, besting even Linux in compatiblity and performance, but you will find few peope that use it, know it exists, or put time into working with it.

Microsoft has been surprised over the years that people really don't 'want' to work with UNIX, when the Windows subsystem is also available to developers, as UNIX proponents claim it is the OS model they want.

Starting in Windows 8, the UNIX (SUA) subsystem will probably be removed from Windows NT, as it is just not used. Ironically developers would rather run Linux in a VM, and take the compatibility and massive performance hit, than to use the SUA in Windows NT.

If Microsoft really wanted to put a hole in the Linux world, which the GPL was written to try to prevent, the Windows NT subystem technology could provide a full Linux based subsystem that runs side by side Win32 and the other subsystems. It would be a better Linux than Linux, as it would be using the NT kernel and provide a Linux kernel API, thus giving Linux the advantages WIndows NT has with memory, scheduling, threading, driver compatibility, and also bypassing the recompile, linking, and driver HAL problems of Linux for portability.

TextOnAFlatScreen said,
Microsoft: "I'm still winning, Mr. Linux"

Linux: "Next year is MY year!"

Microsoft: "...do you always repeat yourself?"

Fail troll fails.

KomaWeiss said,

Fail troll fails.

I love linux systems, I keep pushing people to use them. I also love Windows as I'm an avid gamer and so-so developer. Can people not make fun of both?

And even if I 'failed', I did troll you enough to warrant your inexplicably jovial and original retort. Be gone, troll-police

Pretty sure this was planned from the get go.

Glad it's nearly here.
Also why Microsoft are busy optimizing the heck out of their windows product, so they can advertise, 'runs best on windows' for common open source software.

KingCrimson said,
Typical MSFT, not wanting to play nice with other platforms.

Yeah tell me about it. What next? Apps for iPad?!

KingCrimson said,
Typical MSFT, not wanting to play nice with other platforms.

Isn't the fact that they are allowing you to run Linux say they are playing nice. They just aren't going to give you technical support, which they don't have to do since it isn't their product.

Enron said,

Yeah tell me about it. What next? Apps for iPad?!

Microsoft invest more in apps for iPads than in apps for WP7 :-)

KingCrimson said,
Typical MSFT, not wanting to play nice with other platforms.

The largest producer of OSX apps outside of Apple is Microsoft.

wixostrix said,

Isn't the fact that they are allowing you to run Linux say they are playing nice. They just aren't going to give you technical support, which they don't have to do since it isn't their product.

^ This. Maybe the OP forgot to add the /s tag.

I wish there was a consumer version of Azure (for student/hobby programmers), it sounds like it could be a really interesting service but it costs sooo much.

Uhyve said,
I wish there was a consumer version of Azure (for student/hobby programmers), it sounds like it could be a really interesting service but it costs sooo much.

If you have an MSDN subscription, you can try out the service for free.

Uhyve said,
I wish there was a consumer version of Azure (for student/hobby programmers), it sounds like it could be a really interesting service but it costs sooo much.

I'm pretty sure there's at least a enterprise version, or will be, so business can run Azure in-house if they want to still keep full control.

Uhyve said,
I wish there was a consumer version of Azure (for student/hobby programmers), it sounds like it could be a really interesting service but it costs sooo much.

Maybe I don't really understand Azure, but isn't it basically a hosted virtualization solution? If that is the case then Hyper-V is already the in-house version of it.

sphbecker said,

Maybe I don't really understand Azure, but isn't it basically a hosted virtualization solution? If that is the case then Hyper-V is already the in-house version of it.

It is quite different than just a hosted OS in the cloud, which is why Azure is different than many other cloud service solutions. It is rather unique and brilliant in how it operates simply and yet does so much powerful processing seamlessly, running in various states across many servers.

Windows Azure is an actual OS using Windows NT core and itself also based on NT than spans multiple servers providing a cloud based API set for services and applications and data.

The easiest way to get your mind around it is to check out videos on Microsoft Channel 9, from the Azure engineers.