Open source is all about choice. Over the years, OpenLogic has grown and thrived in part because our mission is centered around giving that choice to corporations — the flexibility to choose the best open-source tools for any job, as well as the support they need to confidently deploy and maintain open source across the network.
We don’t tell enterprises what open source projects they should want. Instead, we give them as many options as possible and help them to deploy that software successfully, safely and securely.
So we applaud any company that enables choice.
That’s why we are so excited to be a part of the Microsoft Windows Azure Portal where OpenLogic will provide SLA support on CentOS. Windows Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables developers to quickly build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. Microsoft is making a big step forward by giving web and application developers that want to run their Cloud apps on CentOS Linux the choice to do so, as well as the option of commercial-grade support for each step of the way.
Why does this matter?
We’ve seen the number of web developers using CentOS grow significantly in the past year, especially after the improved virtualization support in the CentOS 6 release last summer. With the inclusion of CentOS in the Windows Azure Portal, we only expect those numbers to continue to grow. We are thrilled to be partnering with Microsoft to expand enterprise choice in the cloud.
We see 3 reasons driving Microsoft’s growing involvement with Linux.
First, Microsoft continues maturing its views on open source. Earlier this year Wired magazine noted that Microsoft has done significant work with Node.js, Hadoop, and Samba. These are all very positive steps and it appears to me there is a small, but influential group at Microsoft committed to the growth of OSS.
Second, Microsoft enterprise customers must be asking for Linux. We know enterprise development has one or more of virtually every major technology ever deployed. Sooner or later the walls between different proprietary platforms come down as customer use and willingness to pay grow. Linux is certainly a technology that many enterprise customers have in widespread use.
Finally, Windows Azure’s competition already offers Linux. If you are looking for a standardized cloud platform and 2 of the big 3 support Linux, you’ve got great options. If Microsoft wants to play in larger, non-Windows only customers, Linux becomes table stakes.
For enterprise developers and IT folks who are multi-source and multi-platform, today’s announcement is good news. The Windows and Linux worlds take one step towards each other.
For OSS communities as a whole, I think they will meet this with overall wariness and skepticism. Some will view this with hope and a positive step; others will continue to be cynical.
For me, it’s part of a larger overall process that continues to signal open source coming of age. What major vendor doesn’t have an open source story now? It’s such an ingrained part of development, from legacy to mobile to cloud, that we can’t live without and we are figuring out how to love living with it.