Whoa. Microsoft Is Using Linux to Run Its Cloud

Its network OS, called Azure Cloud Switch, enables the company to use the same software stack “across hardware from multiple switch vendors”, Subramaniam wrote.


So it was logical to expect that Microsoft was, in fact, hacking together its own network operating system.

Like other companies that provide services over the internet globally, companies like Google, Facebook, and its main cloud-services rival Amazon, Microsoft designs its own data center hardware and much of the software that runs on that hardware.

Back at the Open Compute Summit in March, The Platform sat down to have a chat about networking and server infrastructure in the Azure cloud at Microsoft.

-With the diverse set of hardware offerings when it comes to enterprise networking hardware, the challenge is managing the many kinds of software that runs on them. It is cross-platform in that it will run on hardware from multiple switch vendors, thanks to the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) specifications.

The new Microsoft under Satya Nadella shows that it is not afraid to adopt open source technologies while implementing solutions, as long as it gets the job done.

That’s where Microsoft also recognizes the true value of openness and standards.

We live in interesting times: Apple has started releasing Android apps, and now Microsoft has announced that it’s developed its own Linux-based operating system. “It also allows us the flexibility to scale down the software and develop features that are required for our datacenter and our networking needs”.

This book of revelations was opened in the Microsoft Azure blog, where a post from Kamala Subramaniam, a principal architect of Azure networking, explained the bean-spilling.

But the reality is, despite former CEO Steve Ballmer famously describing Linux as “a cancer”, that Microsoft is more than willing to accommodate the open-source OS when it can see a benefit.

So does this mean a Microsoft Linux distribution will be available users in the not-too-distant future?

Microsoft isn’t the first tech giant to decide it needs its own software for its networking gear. The newest development is this: Microsoft is working on an operating system that is actually based on Linux. Microsoft had an internal “Linux compete” initiative with strategies to combat the operating system in all sorts of ways, from product to marketing.


Again, this isn’t a product up for sale from Microsoft or even being widely distributed.

Microsoft lifts the lid on Linux-based Azure Cloud Switch platform