Archive for the ‘Interop’ Category

A New Milestone For Openness On Windows Azure

June 6th, 2012 No comments

Today Bill Laing, Corporate VP for Server and Cloud, announced a very important set of Windows Azure updates. With these new updates, Windows Azure is more than ever an open and easy platform to build and run applications in the cloud, and the place to be for developers who want to have choice and flexibility.

I am proud to say that Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. has been working closely with the Windows Azure team and it has been a great journey together, exploring openness and taking interoperability to a new level. There is too much news in this release to cover in a single blog post, and I strongly suggest everyone attend the Meet Windows Azure event tomorrow, when Scott Guthrie and many others will provide a lot of additional information. At the same time, I would like to spend the next few paragraphs on some of the many facets of openness in Windows Azure, to further demonstrate how Windows Azure is living in interesting and exciting times.

Services and Partnerships

For one, I have to point out how all-encompassing the Windows Azure platform is becoming. We will talk in a minute about the support for IaaS, but I would like to draw your attention to how the Windows Azure platform has now announced a set of partnerships that will provide very compelling data services such as MySQL, CouchDB, and Apache Solr.

Those services can be enjoyed by PaaS and IaaS developers and come from the leading industry experts in the field: Microsoft is partnering with leading companies such as Cleardb, Cloudant and Lucid Imagination to provide true data-as-a-service and enable developers and customers to build applications at scale without the worry of provisioning and maintaining their databases. At the same time we and our partners addressed the needs of those who prefer to run software independently in their own PaaS and/or IaaS instances, providing easy installation packages of Windows Azure-optimized versions of Apache CouchDB and Apache Solr. Last but not least, we worked with 10gen to improve the installation experience of MongoDB on Windows Azure that was originally announced in December, and we are looking forward to building a great experience for Windows Azure MongoDB users. 

More importantly, both Microsoft and our partners are committed to always maintain full compatibility with the underlying Open Source applications so that our customers can always rest assured their data will work everywhere. With these technologies joining the existing pool of Windows Azure SQL Database and Apache Hadoop, Windows Azure is leading by leaps and bounds when it comes to data.

OSS on Windows Azure

If Windows Azure databases are now a few clicks away, applications are far from being out in the cold. The announcement of Windows Azure Web Sites – a hosting framework for Web apps that will work across both Windows Azure and private-cloud datacenters – unveils amazing opportunities to run popular Open Source applications in Windows Azure: be it WordPress or Drupal, Joomla or Umbraco, DotNetNuke or PHPBB, or one of the many apps in the Web Sites gallery, it has never been easier to deploy applications on the Windows Azure platform. And I can’t wait for developers to try the new releases of the Windows Azure open source SDKs (now including Python in addition to .NET, Java, PHP and Node.js) as well as the integration with Git.

We are also releasing a major update to the Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse with Java (by Microsoft Open Technologies that includes a number of user feedback-driven improvements. Among them is a significantly revamped deployment experience contributed by GigaSpaces Technologies Ltd, an established leader in helping enterprises move their Java applications to the cloud, who has recently joined in the development work behind the plugin. Their impressive “publish to cloud” wizard makes it much easier for Windows Azure developers working with Java to deploy their projects to the Windows Azure cloud directly from Eclipse. Read the more detailed blog post from Martin Sawicki that covers the Eclipse plugin in more detail.

Last but not least, you probably have noticed the upcoming support for IaaS, Virtual Machines and Linux. I believe this move demonstrates how Windows Azure is built around what customers are asking for and with the idea of being the most inclusive platform ever. Customers are demanding high degrees of flexibility and want to be able to run every possible scenario in a seamless fashion: there are very interesting examples of hybrid private/public clouds out there, not to mention a number of creative contaminations of IaaS, PaaS and data services. We are most definitely moving away from monolithic architectures – customers and developers today want and deserve flexibility.

Linux on Windows Azure

Enabling use of Linux on Windows Azure is a key piece of the puzzle, and needs to be as easy as possible. As with data services, it’s all about strong partnerships with industry leaders: this is why you are seeing Windows Azure partnering with major Linux publishers to provide an amazing experience, and I’m sure this will be a very exciting and ongoing story. On top of that I have to note how partners like BitRock are doing very interesting work to provide more choice: two initial Linux images are available for Bitnami, and we look forward to extending the catalog much further.

Allow me to make a final example of openness and talk about the Windows Azure Command Line Tools for Mac and Linux (the ones Windows Azure users will run on local machines to deploy and manage their Windows and Linux virtual machines): not only they are Open Source, but they are available right now for Mac and Linux clients. And this is just the beginning – stay tuned for more exciting news.

Openness and Interoperability

When a journey reaches an important milestone it’s good to look back and think about the road so far: in my case I went as far as two years ago, when we shared our view on Interoperability Elements of a Cloud Platform. Back then we talked to customers and developers and came out with an overview of an open and interoperable cloud, based on four distinct elements: data portability, standards, ease of migration & deployment and developer choice. We have been laser focused on the quest for an interoperable and flexible cloud platform that would enable heterogeneous workloads, and it’s really rewarding to see how today’s announcement maps nicely to the vision that we outlined back then. More precisely:

  • A lot of efforts have been spent on data portability with great results. Allow me to remind you how on Windows Azure your data is either a JSON/XML call away or in any case available through open interfaces (think of JDBC/ODBC support for SQL Database, as an example). Working on open interfaces really pays off when I think of how our partners have been able to build data solutions (MySQL, Hadoop, Solr, CouchDB, MongoDB) that can run either as a service or as independent workloads. Our customer own their data, and this is near and dear to our hearts.
  • When it comes to standards Windows Azure has one of the most complete API layers around, exposed as REST, XML, OData, Atompub, JSON and others. We are working with standard bodies such as IETF, OASIS and DMTF to ensure that important topics such as identity and management in the cloud are exposed as standard-based APIs, and we have been proactive proponents of important standard efforts such as AMQP and OData among others.
  • Ease of migration & deployment is a key factor when building a cloud platform that preserves existing investments and enables co-existence between on-premise software and cloud services. I see a lot of progress in this area, as an example when I think of the work we have been doing to provide our Java customers and developers with a much improved Eclipse experience, while at the same time providing to everyone the flexibility of FTP and Git to deploy and manage applications. Windows Azure Web Sites is also a great example of how easy deployment can be in the cloud, putting your favorite applications (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, PHPBB and many others) just one click away. While at it, you may want to check out our step-by-step instructions for running Magento.
  • And finally, developer choice, defined as the possibility to use a variety of development tools, runtime and languages. Here we have five SDKs layered on top of a standard APIs, covering .NET, Java, PHP, Python and Node.js. We support the widest possible variety of workloads: be it PaaS or IaaS, be it Windows or Linux, be it public, private or hybrid. We are working with Open Source communities and with leading vendors to provide the best of breed in applications and data services. No matter what your workload is, Windows Azure will be a great home for it.

I have broken every promise I made to myself to keep this post short, yet I barely managed to scratch the surface of this announcement. I have in front of me the plan for the upcoming weeks and I know it will be busy times for this and many other blogs in Microsoft as there is so much to share. It will all start tomorrow at the Meet Windows Azure event: be there!

OSBC 2012: Advancing Interoperability in the Cloud

May 21st, 2012 No comments

At the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco today, Sandy Gupta, the General Manager for Microsoft’s Open Solutions Group, along with Alan Clark, Director of New Initiatives and Emerging Standards for Open Source at SUSE, announced the release of a beta version of the SUSE Manager Management Pack for System Center.

In a blog post, Gupta said the announcement, which was made in collaboration with SUSE, lets this management pack connect the Linux server management capabilities provided by SUSE Manager to System Center, Microsoft’s management platform.

“As a result, customers will be able to administer both Windows and Linux environments from a single management console,” he said.

Gupta positioned the management pack as one example of the work Microsoft is doing to advance interoperability for private clouds. You can try the Linux management capabilities this management pack provides for System Center here.

“On the public cloud front, there’s extensive work going on across the company to facilitate interoperability between Microsoft and open source cloud tools and services. One of the most exciting examples of this comes from the SQL Server Team — the Hadoop-based service for Windows Azure, for which Microsoft released a second preview last month,” he said.

This solution for managing “big data,” connecting it and turning it into business insight, is a prime example of the type of value customers want to realize as a result of leveraging open source and Microsoft software together, he noted.

You can read his full blog post here.

FreeBSD to run as a first-class guest on Windows Server Hyper-V

May 11th, 2012 No comments

Today, at BSDCan 2012, Microsoft and partners NetApp and Citrix announced upcoming native support for FreeBSD support on Windows Server Hyper-V.

This move continues our commitment to extend support across platforms to the Windows Server Hyper-V solution, making it easier for more customers to realize the benefits of server virtualization and more easily adopt cloud computing.

This will allow FreeBSD to run as a first-class guest on Windows Server Hyper-V. The drivers and associated source code will be released early this summer under the BSD license, and will initially work with FreeBSD 8.2 and 8.3 on Windows Server 2008 R2.

You can read more about this on the Openness blog.

Joe CaraDonna, the Technical Director of Core Operating Systems at NetApp, says in an interview that he was thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Microsoft and Citrix to deliver Windows Server Hyper-V support to FreeBSD.

“I think the combination of these virtualization technologies helps round-out the FreeBSD virtualization story, and makes the FreeBSD operating system a more compelling offering.”

He also notes how committed Microsoft is to open source initiatives: “we decided from the very beginning that we were going to open source the code under the BSD license. No strings attached. They were as eager as us to support the project, and then give the code away. How cool is that?”

You can read the full interview here.

Here’s to the first release from MS Open Tech: Redis on Windows

April 26th, 2012 No comments

The past few weeks have been very busy in our offices as we announced the creation of Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. Now that the dust has settled it’s time for us to resume our regular cadence in releasing code, and we are happy to share with you the very first deliverable from our new company: a new and significant iteration of our work on Redis on Windows, the open-source, networked, in-memory, key-value data store.

The major improvements in this latest version involve the process of saving data on disk. Redis on Linux uses an OS feature called Fork/Copy On Write. This feature is not available on Windows, so we had to find a way to be able to mimic the same behavior without changing completely the save on disk process so as to avoid any future integration issues with the Redis code.

The version we released today implements the Copy On Write process at the application level: instead of relying on the OS we added code to Redis so that some data structures are duplicated in such a way that Redis can still serve requests from clients while saving data on disk (thus achieving the same effect of Fork/Copy On Write does automatically on Linux).

You can find the code for this new version on the new MS Open Tech repository in GitHub, which is currently the place to work on the Windows version of Redis as per guidance from Salvatore Sanfilippo, the original author of the project. We will also continue working with the community to create a solid Windows port.

We consider this not to be production ready code, but a solid code base to be shared with the community to solicit feedback: as such, while we pursue stabilization, we are keeping the older version as default/stable on the GitHub repository. To try out the new code, please go to the bksavecow branch.

In the next few weeks we plan to extensively test the code so that developers can use it for more serious testing. In the meantime, we will keep looking at the ‘save on disk’ process to find out if there are other opportunities to make the code perform even better. We will promote the bksavecow branch to master as soon as we (and you!) are confident the code is stable.

Please send your feedback, file suggestions and issues to our GitHub repository. We look forward to further iterations and to working with the Redis community at large to make the Windows experience even better.

Claudio Caldato

Principal Program Manager

Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

A subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation.


Announcing one more way Microsoft will engage with the open source and standards communities

April 12th, 2012 No comments

In case you missed it, I just wanted to flag this blog from Jean Paoli:

I am really excited to be able to share with you today that Microsoft has announced a new wholly owned subsidiary known as Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., to advance the company’s investment in openness – including interoperability, open standards and open source.

My existing Interoperability Strategy team will form the nucleus of this new subsidiary, and I will serve as President of Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

The team has worked closely with many business groups on numerous standards initiatives across Microsoft, including the W3C’s HTML5, IETF’s HTTP 2.0, cloud standards in DMTF and OASIS, and in many open source environments such as Node.js, MongoDB and Phonegap/Cordova.

We help provide open source building blocks for interoperable cloud services and collaborate on cloud standards in DMTF and OASIS; support developer choice of programming languages to enable Node.js, PHP and Java in addition to .NET in Windows Azure; and work with the PhoneGap/Cordova and jQuery Mobile and other open source communities to support Windows Phone.

It is important to note that Microsoft and our business groups will continue to engage with the open source and standards communities in a variety of ways, including working with many open source foundations such as Outercurve Foundation, the Apache Software Foundation and many standards organizations. Microsoft Open Technologies is further demonstration of Microsoft’s long-term commitment to interoperability, greater openness, and to working with open source communities.

Today, thousands of open standards are supported by Microsoft and many open source environments including Linux, Hadoop, MongoDB, Drupal, Joomla and others, run on our platform.

The subsidiary provides a new way of engaging in a more clearly defined manner. This new structure will help facilitate the interaction between Microsoft’s proprietary development processes and the company’s open innovation efforts and relationships with open source and open standards communities.

This structure will make it easier and faster to iterate and release open source software, participate in existing open source efforts, and accept contributions from the community. Over time the community will see greater interaction with the open standards and open source worlds.

As a result of these efforts, customers will have even greater choice and opportunity to bridge Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies together in heterogeneous environments.

I look forward to sharing more on all this in the months ahead, as well as to working not only with the existing open source developers and standards bodies we work with now, but with a range of new ones.



ASP.NET, Web API and ASP.NET Web Pages Open Sourced

March 28th, 2012 No comments

More Open Source goodness from Microsoft today, with the announcement that we are open sourcing ASP.NET MVC 4, ASP.NET Web API, ASP.NET Web Pages v2 (Razor) – all with contributions – under the Apache 2.0 license.

You can find the source on CodePlex, and all the details on Scott Guthrie’s blog.

“We will also for the first time allow developers outside of Microsoft to submit patches and code contributions that the Microsoft development team will review for potential inclusion in the products,” Guthrie says. “We announced a similar open development approach with the Windows Azure SDK last December, and have found it to be a great way to build an even tighter feedback loop with developers – and ultimately deliver even better products as a result.”

You can now browse, sync and build the source tree of ASP.NET MVC, Web API, and Razor here.

In short, as Principal Program Manager Scott Hanselman notes in his blog about all this goodness: Open Source = Increased Investment. ASP.NET is a part of .NET, it will still ship with Visual Studio. It’s the same ASP.NET, managed by the same developers with the same support.

It is also very important to note, as Guthrie points out, that ASP.NET MVC, Web API and Razor will continue to be fully supported Microsoft products that ship both standalone as well as part of Visual Studio (the same as they do today).

“They will also continue to be staffed by the same Microsoft developers that build them today (in fact, we have more Microsoft developers working on the ASP.NET team now than ever before),” he says. “Our goal with today’s announcement is to increase the feedback loop on the products even more, and allow us to deliver even better products. We are really excited about the improvements this will bring.”

CodePlex now Supports Git

March 22nd, 2012 No comments

Great news for our CodePlex community: CodePlex now supports Git!

Git has been one of the top rated requests from the CodePlex community for some time, and giving CodePlex users what they ask for and supporting their open source efforts has always been important to us.

And the goodness continues, as the CodePlex team has a long list of improvements planned.

So, why Git? CodePlex already has Mercurial for distributed version control and TFS (which also supports subversion clients) for centralized version control. The short answer is that the CodePlex community voted, loud and clear, that Git support was critical.

With the addition of Git, CodePlex now has three options when it comes to Open Source project hosting. Projects can now select between TFS, Mercurial, and Git.

Each developer has their own preferences, and for some, centralized version control makes more sense to them. For others, DVCS is the only way to go. We’re equally committed to supporting both these technologies for users.

You can get started today by creating a new project or contribute to an existing project by creating a fork.

For help on getting started with Git on CodePlex, see the help documentation here. If you would like to switch your project to use Git, please contact CodePlex Support with your project information.

For more information on this news, read the CodePlex blog.

New Interoperability Solutions for SQL Server 2012

March 22nd, 2012 No comments

I am excited to share some great news about how we are opening up the SQL Server data platform even further with expanded interoperability support through new tools that allow customers to modernize their infrastructure while maximizing existing investments and extending virtually any data anywhere.

The SQL Server team today introduced several tools that enable interoperability with SQL Server 2012.

These tools help developers to build secure, highly available and high performance applications for SQL Server in .NET, C/C++, Java and PHP, on-premises and in the cloud.

These new tools include a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Native Client, a SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux, backward compatibility with ADO.Net and the Microsoft JDBC Driver 4.0 and PHP Driver 3.0.

You can find more information on all this goodness on the SQL Server blog here.

Update: Microsoft, Hadoop and Big Data

February 28th, 2012 No comments

I’m really excited to be able to give you an update on our strategy and product roadmap for Big Data, especially around our embrace of Apache Hadoop as part of our data platform.

As you may remember, at the PASS Summit last October we laid out our roadmap for Big Data, with Microsoft Corporate Vice President Ted Kummert announcing plans to deliver enterprise class Apache Hadoop based distributions on both Windows Server and Windows Azure.

Even more importantly, he announced that Microsoft will be working with the community to offer contributions for inclusion into the Apache Hadoop project and its ecosystem of tools and technologies.

Now, this week at the O’Reilly Strata Conference, Dave Campbell, a Microsoft Technical Fellow, will give a keynote address on Wednesday morning where he will talk about how we are demonstrating our progress on this front as we strive to help organizations derive new insights from Big Data.

In a blog post today, Campbell notes that Microsoft has been working hard to bring the simplicity and manageability of Windows to Hadoop based solutions, and we are expanding the reach with a Hadoop based service on Windows Azure.

“Hadoop is a great tool but, to fully realize the vision of the modern data platform, we also need a marketplace to search, share and use 1st and 3rd party data and services. And, to bring the power to everyone in the business, we need to connect the new big data ecosystem to business intelligence tools like PowerPivot and Power View,” he says.

Microsoft is working closely with the community and ecosystem – including partners such as Karmasphere, Datameer and HStreaming – to deliver an open and flexible platform that is compatible with Hadoop and works well with leading 3rd party tools and technologies.

“We have recently reached a significant milestone in this journey, with our first series of contributions to the Apache Hadoop projects. Working with Hortonworks, we have submitted a proposal to the Apache Software Foundation for enhancements to Hadoop to run on Windows Server and are also in the process of submitting further proposals for a JavaScript framework and a Hive ODBC Driver,” Campbell says.

As Gianugo Rabellino, Microsoft’s Senior Director for Open Source Communities said last October, these moves benefit not only the broader Open Source community by enabling them to take their existing skill sets and assets use them on Windows Azure and Windows Server, but also developers, our customers and partners.

“It is also another example of our ongoing commitment to providing Interoperability, compatibility and flexibility,” he said at that time.

You can read Campbell’s blog here and learn more about what we are doing for Big Data here.