The Odd Couple: Microsoft And Ubuntu Work It Out In The Cloud

The Odd Couple: Microsoft And Ubuntu Work It Out In The Cloud

The past week has marked the beginning of a new era for cloud technology in general and for Azure and Ubuntu in particular. Microsoft publicized that its cloud-computing service, Azure, is proudly extending the spectrum of its support to Ubuntu, the much-admired open-source, Linux-powered operating system. Additionally, in a blog post created a day later, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth revealed the nascent Microsoft–Canonical collaboration towards supporting the distribution of the famous Linux-brewed operating system on the blooming Azure platform.

Canonical is set to deliver the official Ubuntu images for Azure and will offer its business-related support services to users who are planning to utilize Ubuntu within Microsoft’s cloud environment. After an Azure update scheduled this fall, customers will be able to procure exclusive Canonical support contracts directly via Microsoft’s Azure Gallery functionality.

Cloud computing is vital to Canonical, a company that has ardently been working towards accentuating its presence in the server sector. Canonical has recently been focused on escalating Ubuntu’s aptness for implementation in cloud-based environments. Ventures such as the Metal as a Service tool and the Juju service orchestration framework clearly support Canonical’s standpoint from the cloud perspective. The corporation has also put in efforts to claim a spot in the private-cloud domain by supporting projects such as OpenStack and Eucalyptus.

Efforts by Canonical aimed at obtaining a stronghold for Ubuntu on Azure are absolutely normal. Microsoft is expected to benefit equally from having collaborators in the Linux environment as the software giant tries to make Azure a viable, pocket-friendly offering compared to cloud service competitors such as Amazon. In his blog post, Shuttleworth referred to Azure as an “impressive new entrant” that has been worked on painstakingly by a team who have developed a “sophisticated understanding of Ubuntu and Linux in general.”

Canonical and Microsoft have had their differences in the past. The infamous Bug#1, coined by Ubuntu (and filed personally by none other than Shuttleworth himself) clearly depicts that depriving Microsoft of the leading spot in the personal-computer operating system market is the Ubuntu project’s primary objective.

In his post regarding the collaboration with Microsoft to support Ubuntu on Azure, Shuttleworth highlighted that the connection is in total accord with Ubuntu’s core values. “There is nothing proprietary in Ubuntu-for-Azure, and no about-turn from us on long-held values,” he assured.

From a business stance, the association will be reciprocally advantageous for both Microsoft and Canonical. Even though some Linux aficionados might not be pleased about Canonical formally endorsing Microsoft’s cloud initiative, the truth remains that Ubuntu will gain definite advantage from being able to run in the cloud. If Azure backing helps to reinforce Ubuntu’s enterprise-level influence, it would definitely serve to bring more credibility and users to the Ubuntu environment.

By Humayun Shahid

About Humayun

With degrees in Communication Systems Engineering and Signal Processing, Humayun currently works as a lecturer at Pakistan's leading engineering university. The author has an inclination towards incorporating quality user experience design in smartphone and web applications.