Microsoft has built an impressive new entrant to the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market, and Ubuntu is there for customers who want to run workloads on Azure that are best suited to Linux. Windows Azure was built for the enterprise market, an audience which is increasingly comfortable with Ubuntu as a workhorse for scale-out workloads; in short, it’s a good fit for both of us, and it’s been interesting to do the work to bring Ubuntu to the platform.

Given that it’s normal for us to spin up 2,000-node Hadoop clusters with Juju, it will be very valuable to have a new enterprise-oriented cloud with which to evaluate performance, latency, reliability, scalability and many other key metrics for production deployment scenarios.

As IAAS grows in recognition as a standard part of the enterprise toolkit, it will be important to have a wide range of infrastructures that are addressable, with diverse strengths. In the case of Windows Azure, there is clearly a deep connection between Windows-based IT and the new IAAS. But I think Microsoft has set their sights on a bigger story, which is high-quality enterprise-oriented infrastructure that is generally useful. That’s why Ubuntu is important to them, and why it was worthwhile for us to work together despite our differences. Just as we need to ensure that customers can run Ubuntu and Windows together inside their data centre and on the LAN, we want to ensure that cloud workloads play nicely.

The team leading Azure has a sophisticated understanding of Ubuntu and Linux in general. They are taking a pragmatic approach that will raise eyebrows around the Redmond campus, but is exactly what customers want to see. We have taken a similar view. I know there will be members of the free software community that will leap at the chance to berate Microsoft for its very existence, but it’s not very Ubuntu to do so: let’s argue our perspective, work towards our goals, be open to those who are open to us, and build great stuff. There is nothing proprietary in Ubuntu-for-Azure, and no about-turn from us on long-held values. This is us making sure our audience, and especially the enterprise audience, can benefit from the work our community and Canonical do no matter where they want to do it.

Windows Azure IAAS is in beta. If you are using the cloud today, or interested in it, I highly recommend you try it out. There’s no better way to make yourself heard over there.

11 Responses to “Ubuntu on Microsoft’s Windows Azure IAAS”

  1. Bilal Akhtar Says:

    Another proof that pushing Linux brings in more money, especially in the server field.

    Great job, Mark and other awesome people floating among the Canonical clouds!

  2. Mariam Says:

    Smart move torwards the 200 millions, well done!

  3. Stephan Adig Says:


    well done. A tight connection between the Linux World and the Windows World is actually what I wanted to see.
    Even if I don’t like the Windows OS, it’s important for the enterprise market.

    Now people will come back to Canonical (or to you as the messenger) and will complain.
    But those people should think about this:

    Many enterprises who are providing good Windows Software or Windows SaaS Services are running very large Linux environments. So many of them are investing a sh*tload of Money into their Linux Server Fleet and the people who are providing 24/7 operational services.

    Thanks for all the ideas and work. Also, thanks to your Colleagues who were working on this. It’s appreciated.

    Greetings from sunny California (temporarily :))


  4. Canonical partners with Microsoft to support Ubuntu on Azure | Ars Technica Says:

    […] a blog entry about Canonical’s partnership with Microsoft, Shuttleworth described Azure as an "impressive new […]

  5. Partnerschaft: Canonical und Microsoft planen Ubuntu Linux Images für Windows Azure › CloudUser Says:

    […] von Linux basierten virtuellen Maschinen Images angekündigt hat, schreibt Ubuntu Gründer Mark Shuttleworth auf seinem Blog nun über eine enge Kooperation beider Unternehmen. Hintergrund ist die Unterstützung von Ubuntu […]

  6. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, imágenes disponibles en Microsoft Azure - Online Says:

    […] Una cosa de las más buscadas después de las funcionalidades de Windows Azure, es la capacidad de ejecutar máquinas virtuales en la nube; de ahí el interés de Canonical de hacer que su sistema operativo esté disponible para los usuarios de Azure. “El equipo que conduce Azure tiene -en general- una sofisticada comprensión de Ubuntu y Linux. Están adoptando un planteamiento o enfoque pragmático que hará levantar las cejas a todo el campus de Redmond, y eso es exactamente lo que los clientes quieren ver. Hemos adoptado una posición similar”, dijo Mark Shuttleworth en un blog post. […]

  7. Seb24 Says:

    A good question :

    “Microsoft alleged years ago that Linux and Open Source technologies infringe on over 200 Microsoft patents. It’s that basic allegation that Microsoft used to convince Novell/SUSE to sign a a Patent deal and it’s the same basic underpinning for a dozen deals with Android vendors.

    So why is Microsoft allowing Linux to run on its Azure cloud? In particular, why Ubuntu?”

  8. Ubuntu w Azure – chmurze Microsoft | Says:

    […] poinformował Mark Shuttleworth na swoim blogu, Canonical rozpoczął współpracę z Microsoft w celu udostępnienia Ubuntu w chmurze Azure. To […]

  9. Microsoft Windows Azure, Ubuntu and the Big Data Connection | DevOpsANGLE Says:

    […] his own blog entry, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth notes that the company has started to use Ubuntu’s Juju […]

  10. James Says:

    This is a really good development. It’s the reality that Linux and Windows have to work together and I am delight to hear that the Microsoft team are working with Ubuntu. We should welcome, support and make dealing with Linux a pleasant experience.

  11. LeM Says:

    Risky cooperation. But good luck!