It is apparent that Microsoft is definitely going through changes. For one, they have started discussing, publicly, Linux in a positive light. Anyone that has been involved in any kind of tech or gaming on personal computers any length of time will probably realize that is a new angle for Microsoft. In decades past, Microsoft usually was quiet on Linux, or had nothing good to say about it. My how times have changed. We now know of two Linux based creations that work hand in hand with other Microsoft product.
First up is Azure Cloud Switch. This is apparently “a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on Linux” and “our foray into building our own software for running network devices like switches.” According to Microsoft.
Kamala Subramaniam, Redmond’s principal architect for Azure Networking, writes that: “At Microsoft, we believe there are many excellent switch hardware platforms available on the market, with healthy competition between many vendors driving innovation, speed increases, and cost reductions.”
“However, what the cloud and enterprise networks find challenging is integrating the radically different software running on each different type of switch into a cloud-wide network management platform. Ideally, we would like all the benefits of the features we have implemented and the bugs we have fixed to stay with us, even as we ride the tide of newer switch hardware innovation.”
So, in layman’s terms, this new Azure Cloud Switch will allow for better integration with the myriad of computers that make the Internet. Supposedly, things will flow better, the bits will work faster and things will just improve overall.
The second bit of Linux based software that Microsoft has announced is SONiC- Software for Open Networking in the Cloud. Basically we are looking at a toolkit containing code and kernel patches that will work with switch hardware in the cloud. SONiC builds on the base that Azure Cloud Switch laid.
That is what we see on the surface. It could easily be a situation where that Microsoft is positioned to control Linux development in the future, even if ever so slightly. This could be detrimental to Linux as a competing platform.