Microsoft Shows Linux More 'Love' in Big Data Cloud Push
The company expands its Linux-compatible enterprise cloud offerings as the open-source OS gains ground on Microsoft Azure.Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella remarked in October that the company's Azure cloud computing platform "supports any OS on any container technology, so we support both Linux and Windows Server," before declaring that "Microsoft loves Linux." Today, as enterprises mull placing their big data workloads on third-party clouds, the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant is extending its embrace of the rival, open-source operating system. Linux—indeed the open-source movement in general—has already had a major impact on how Microsoft approaches the exploding market for business cloud solutions, according to Oliver Chiu, product marketing manager for Microsoft Hadoop/Big Data and Data Warehousing. The company "is committed to openness, underscored by recent announcements including 20% of Azure Virtual Machines run on Linux, 'Microsoft loves Linux', open sourcing the .NET Core, our contributions to Apache Hadoop, and support for Docker containers," he asserted in Feb. 18 blog post. Meanwhile, HDInsight, the company's cloud-based Hadoop distribution, is growing at a rate of 20 percent per month, claimed Chiu. Increasingly, Linux customers want in on the act. "Responding to this demand, customers can now choose Windows or Linux operating systems when they deploy Hadoop in Azure. Both options are first class citizens, offering simple deployment, SLA [service-level agreement], technical support for the entire stack, ranging from Hadoop to the operating system," announced Chiu.
Amid the keynotes and presentations at the Strata+Hadoop World conference, currently taking place in San Jose, Calif., Microsoft announced the release of the first public preview of Azure HDInsight on Linux, based on the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP). Hortonworks, a Yahoo spin-off, is considered the industry's leading distributor of enterprise-grade, Apache Hadoop-based big data solutions. Last summer, the company banked $50 million from Hewlett-Packard as part of a deal to integrate HDP into its HAVEn big data platform.