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Live from LinuxCon – Sharing the latest news and learnings on Microsoft’s open journey

Posted on 22 august, 2016

CVP, Enterprise Open Source

Greetings from LinuxCon North America in Toronto, where I am representing Microsoft as a keynote speaker for the first time! I'm excited to share exciting new open source developments from Microsoft and things we've learned from our journey with Linux and open source. Of course, I also look forward to catching up with old friends and meeting up with some customers and partners.

Over the past few months I’ve been asked more times than I can count, “Wim, why did you join Microsoft?” As a Linux guy who has watched the company from afar, I am the first to admit that Microsoft hasn’t always been the most open company. After talking to some of the executives at the company, I found that the days of a closed Microsoft are over.

The reality is customers use more than one tool and more than one platform to operate their businesses. They need tools that support Linux and Windows, and they need a cloud that allows them to run any application. One of the things I shared with linux.com recently was how blown away I was to see how large Microsoft's investment in Linux already is. We brought .NET Core, PowerShell, and SQL Server to Linux. We also open sourced Visual Studio Code and just recently PowerShell. And, we are contributing to and participating in numerous community projects. It’s incredible to be a part of it.

Our latest open source and Linux advancements

One of the areas we are focused on is delivering open management solutions. In today’s multi-cloud, multi-OS world, customers need simple, unified tools to reduce complexity. That’s why just last week, we announced that we’re open sourcing PowerShell and making it available on Linux. Now PowerShell users across Windows and Linux can use our popular command-line shell and scripting language to manage almost everything from almost anywhere. My colleague Jeffrey Snover wrote a fantastic story about the journey to open source PowerShell and how customer-centricity brought us here – go check it out!

We’re also investing in making Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS), which gives you visibility and control of your applications and workloads across Azure and other clouds, a first-class tool for managing Linux environments. Last week, we announced that the OMS Monitoring Agent for Linux is generally available, delivering rich insights and real-time visibility into customers’ Linux workloads to quickly remediate issues. A lot of the tools we use and integrate with are open source-based, such as fluentd and integration with auditd and the like.

Today, I’m also excited to share that OMS Docker Container monitoring is available in preview. By nature, containers are lightweight and easily provisioned, so without a centralized approach to monitoring, customers may find it difficult to manage and respond to critical issues quickly. With OMS Docker Container monitoring, you get visibility into your container inventory, performance, and logs from one place, get a simplified view of containers’ usage, and can diagnose issues whether your containers are running in the cloud or on-premises. You may have seen Mark Russinovich demo this live at DockerCon in June, and we’re thrilled you can try it for yourself.

What we’ve learned on our journey and what’s next

These are all important milestones for Microsoft that reflect our journey of learning and the thoroughness of our open source approach across infrastructure investments; new governance processes that work with and for the community; new ways to incorporate customer and partner feedback; and the deepening of partnerships to make great experiences possible for organizations of all types. In my keynote tomorrow, I will talk about how we are applying our learnings into the Linux ecosystem, what our approach to open source is, what it means for Linux users, and how me and my team are working to take this to the next level.

Our experiences with Linux in Azure, where nearly 1 in 3 VMs today are Linux, have brought us closer to our customers and what they need to succeed in a rapidly advancing world. We have made significant investments in making Microsoft's platform a great place to run open source software, and I will be working with my team to accelerate this effort over the coming months.

Choice and flexibility are important tenets of our platform. Also critical are our efforts to contribute to open source projects, integrate open source technologies in our platform, and forge commercial and community partnerships with the ecosystem. It’s not just about what we’re open sourcing or making available on Linux. Microsoft is committed to contributing and participating in open source projects, like our investments in OMI and fluentd, our focus on Chakra and TypeScript, and many other projects including the fantastic work from our Microsoft Research organization. To take it a step further, one of the things my team and I have learned is how to partner with the community to make our contributions viable and sustainable, in ways that work for the community. I will be sharing many of those examples in my keynote.

It’s now been a few months since I joined Microsoft. It’s an exciting time to be at this company. I have to say that Linux and open source have become a normal part of our day-to-day business at Microsoft - from our people, our products, our vision, and our investments. I’m excited at what the future will bring with more first- and third-party projects, technologies, and partnerships that will bring great experiences to our customers using Linux and open source technologies.

If you’re at LinuxCon, please join me and the open source team in booth #3 at LinuxCon this week, and follow us on Twitter for more details about my keynote. If you’re not attending, make sure you visit the Azure.com website on Linux to learn more about our work with Linux and open source technologies.