Microsoft Still Serious About Continuing the Linux Journey

It’s clear from Hyper-V’s Linux support developments over the last year that Microsoft is serious about supporting and managing Linux.  The IC’s were submitted to the Linux kernel, making Microsoft a top 5 contributor.  Then we had CentOS distro support – making a lot of people very happy.  And now we have a new 3.1 version of the IC’s that adds newer OS version support and more Hyper-V features.

Over in OpsMgr world, guidance for installing Linux agents is placed right up there with guidance for installing Windows agents.  I’ve made it no secret that I actually like how the OpsMgr team did OpsMgr 2007 Linux agents (self-serviced cross certification) way more than how they did Windows workgroup agents (flaky MOMCERTIMPORT based on custom x.509 certificate templates).

Microsoft are really taking cross-platform or heterogeneous environments seriously.

Here’s hoping for a Microsoft-written DPM agent for LAMP, and maybe a Microsoft-written ConfigMgr client/agents for Linux too!  That would complete the stack and probably help System Center Management Suite sales in those beloved Fortune 1000’s.

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2 Comments on Microsoft Still Serious About Continuing the Linux Journey

  1. A few weeks ago Sandy Gupta, general manager for marketing strategy for Microsoft’s Open Solutions Group said “Microsoft is drawing the line at “touching” the Linux code. It won’t provide patches.” (src: That’s kind of an ambiguous statement, in my mind. The Linux kernel is modified by submitting patches and MSFT are providing patches. Does that mean that it’s just Gupta that is not getting what they’re doing? If so why on earth did they let him talk to elreg, and others? Or is he mixing Linux kernel and Linux distribution? I know it’s semantics, but that one line still confuses the crap out of me. Maybe I’m just being really dumb.

    Don’t get me wrong I am extremely grateful for the work that they’re putting into getting drivers into the kernel. I’ve been running Linux boxes under Hyper-V for some time, and it’s really nice to not have to put in little fixes, and just have the boxes work with the integration features published to the VM. Ubuntu 11.04 has the HV drivers built and packaged by default, but I’m really not sure if thats Canonical, or both parties are play.

    I do really hope that their experience(s) with CentOS will push them in the right direction, but I still fear that they’ll do an about turn.

    As for DPM agents for Linux. I would absolutely defecate myself with joy if that were what was to come in the future. If MSFT happen to read this; I don’t care if it’s a separate CAL. That’s absolutely fine. The more members of staff that I can ease into helping to manage multi-OS environments, and the more I can do that by using tools they are already familiar with, the better.

    • Aidan Finn // July 28, 2011 at 11:16 AM // Reply

      > As for DPM agents for Linux. I would absolutely defecate myself with joy if that were what was to come in the future.

      The laugh in response to this has my co-workers looking at me funny 🙂 You do make a good point: people will pay for the agent. It also would make Hyper-V/DPM more attractive in the hosting (public cloud/VPS) market, something which Microsoft is very keen to get some decent penetration into.

      I think the comments from Gupta were that Microsoft won’t have some Linux Disti or become a Linux code maintenance company. Don’t fear: Microsoft is not going to go into reverse with Hyper-V/Linux. The addition of support for CentOS, and support for RHEL 6 tells us what the strategy is. And there’s plenty of whisperings on the net about other distro support statements. This is driven by customer demand, and missed sales opportunities in heteroegneous environments and that’s the stuff that counts.

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