Microsoft embraces Linux for Azure SDN component

Windows-maker hails ‘vibrant ecosystem’ of open-source OS

Tags: Microsoft CorporationOpen sourceSoftware Defined Network
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Microsoft embraces Linux for Azure SDN component Open-source projects gathered steam as a challenge to Microsoft’s OS-market dominance, but now the tech giant sees Linux as the answer to a stable cloud platform.
By  Stephen McBride Published  September 20, 2015

Microsoft has tacked on a software-defined networking component to its Azure cloud platform called Azure Cloud Switch (ACS), which is built on Linux, the company announced.

Under Satya Nadella's stewardship, Microsoft has dramatically broken from its Windows-first philosophy, moving openly towards a mobile-first, cloud-first strategy. Developing its flagship Office for other operating systems was one step in this journey. Now, Redmond has chosen to sully its hands with the open-source OS to develop a "cross-platform modular operating system for data centre networking", according to a blog post on azure.microsoft.com.

In its blog post, Microsoft said it chose to develop against a C-based API, to overcome challenges related to "integrating the radically different software running on each different type of switch into a cloud-wide network management platform".

The company also expects the open-source architecture will aid with testing and bug-fixing.

According to Microsoft, ACS uses "the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) specification, the first open-standard C API for programming network switching ASICs [application-specific integrated circuit], of the Open Compute Project (OCP)".

Open-source projects gathered steam as a challenge to Microsoft's OS-market dominance, but now the tech giant sees Linux as the answer to a stable cloud platform.

"ACS believes in the power of Open Networking," Microsoft declared. "Running on Linux, ACS is able to make use of its vibrant ecosystem."

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