Microsoft Enabling Linux on its Azure Cloud in 2012
Well, for the techies in the know this is good news. Microsoft is working on allowing its customers to make "virtual machines (VMs) persistent on its Windows Azure," according to news reports from "anonymous" company tipsters.
Though Windows Azure already has support for a VM role, it’s not efficient at present. “The current VM role when rebooted or randomly recycled by the Azure platform loses any data stored — any persistence. So for applications that rely on the machine name or files/config that constitute “state” not stored in SQL Azure (or externally), this is a problem. This is also one of the technical reasons why you wouldn’t try running SharePoint on the current Azure VM role,” explained an anonymous Microsoft partner.
However, Microsoft wants to please customers who for a long while have been requesting that the company add persistent VMs to Azure. The company had resisted the requests, expecting customers to develop Azure apps on their own. Azure's inability to host apps like SharePoint and other business applications with persistence forced customers to go elsewhere. Until Microsoft agreed to add this current support feature, its cloud platform Azure wasn't a viable option for these businesses.
Now they are going to be able to run Windows or Linux "durably," (i.e. without losing state) in virtual machines on Azure. And another benefit of the enhancement is that customers will be able to run SQL Server or SharePoint Server in VMs, as well. Customers will more easily be able to move existing apps to Microsoft's cloud platform without a lot of reworking. The company intends to launch a Community Technology Preview (CTP) test-build of the persistent Virtual Machine capability in the spring of 2012.Continued on the next page