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We are just days away from reaching a significant milestone for our team and the open source and open standards communities: the first anniversary of Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech) -- a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft.
We can’t think of anyone better to celebrate with than YOU, the members of the open source and open standards community and technology industry who have helped us along on our adventure over the past year.
We’d like to extend an open (pun intended!) invitation to celebrate with us on April 25, and share your burning questions on the future of the subsidiary, open source at-large and how MS Open Tech can better connect with the developer community to present even more choice and freedom.
I’ll be proud to share the stage with our amazing MS Open Tech leadership team: Jean Paoli, President; Kamaljit Bath, Engineering team leader; and Paul Cotton, Standards team leader and Co-Chair of the W3C HTML Working Group.
We will share personal anecdotes about how an unlikely pairing -- Microsoft and open source / open standards – may go down in history as successful as Chocolate & Peanut Butter, Cats & the Internet, and Pirates & Ninjas.
Come raise a toast to how far we have come as a community, and to the exciting places we’ll be headed in the next 12 months.
Find your ticket below, and register here http://congratsmsopentech.eventbrite.com.
Gianugo Rabellino Senior Director, Open Source Communities Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.
I'm heading off to Paris this weekend to participate in the annual Open Source Think Tank and Open World Forum events held in that wonderful city next week.
I'm really looking forward to chatting with all those folk interested in this space, from enthusiasts to developers and end users.
I will be joined at these events by my colleague and Technical Ambassador Craig Kitterman, as well as by Alfonso Castro, our local market interoperability program lead.
We will present technical sessions and participate in a number of panel discussions, ranging from what Open Source, Open Standards and Open Systems mean today to Open Source as an agent of change.
Our participation in these Paris events complements our existing broad engagement with OSS communities, and we look forward to meeting our friends from the PhP, Node.js, Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress.communities as well as to making a lot of new ones.
You can read more about our participation in Paris here, and we look forward to meeting those of you lucky enough to be attending in person.
by jcannon on November 08, 2007 03:14pm
Our own Hank Janssen gives the Channel9 team an update on the work that has been done to provide a native driver to SQL Server for PHP.
"SQL Team Says: "The SQL Server Driver for PHP (October 2007) Community Technology Preview (CTP) is designed to enable reliable, scalable integration with SQL Server for PHP applications deployed on the Windows platform. The Driver for PHP is a PHP 5 extension that allows the reading and writing of SQL Server data from within PHP scripts. It provides a procedural interface for accessing data in all Editions of SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2000 (including Express Edition), and makes use of PHP features, including PHP streams to read and write large objects."
Wow. This is cool. Need to find out more about this. What exactly is this thing? Why did we create it? What are the platform requirments? Is it open source? Who are the folks behind this? You know the C9 drill. Tune in and meet SQLPHP Program Manager John Bocharov and Microsoft Open Source champion Hank Janssen who answer a bunch of questions and provide good context about the thinking behind SQLPHP, history and future. Check it out.
by jcannon on January 04, 2008 02:02pm
Abstract: Often SSL or TLS is required to secure data from web applications. Sometimes this is just prudent to prevent confidential or sensitive data from being confiscated. Sometimes this is required by regulations like HIPAA or industry bodies, such as the Payment Card Industry. This guide will show how to install Apache with SSL on Windows.
Note: This paper represents testing and documentation in a lab environment. User Account Control (UAC) is an essential security component to Windows and Microsoft does not recommend turning off UAC in production environments.
Download Report Installing Apache on Windows
In case you missed the great Open Source and related Interop news that came out of Microsoft's annual MIX conference which was held in Las Vegas this week, here's a recap.
Scott Guthrie, a Corporate Vice President in the Microsoft Developer Division, used his MIX keynote to discuss the company's commitment to sponsoring open source projects, such as the Orchard project, a free CMS project in the Outercurve Foundation's ASP.NET Open Source Gallery.
Orchard 1.1 is now available, along with the new UserVoice and DISQUS modules that contribute to the growing number of community-authored extensions for Orchard.
Guthrie also announced an ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update, which enables Web developers to innovate quickly and easily via new HTML 5 markup support, Entity Framework 4.1 with Entity Code First now built in for easier database Web solution development, and expanded NuGet capabilities for finding and installing community components.
Guthrie also used his keynote to announce the immediate availability of the Microsoft Silverlight 5 beta, which provides advances in rich media and application development.
Silverlight is a free web-browser plug-in that enables interactive media experiences, rich business applications and immersive mobile apps. It works on all major Operating Systems plus all major browsers, including Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer.
New capabilities in Silverlight 5 include Hardware Video Decode, for enhanced video quality and performance, and "Trickplay," which provides variable-rate video playback with audio pitch correction.
The beta also offers a new Microsoft XNA-based interface for delivering 3-D visualizations within applications, along with a host of new features that are designed to enhance developer productivity and end-user experiences.
In his MIX keynote Dean Hachamovitch, the Corporate Vice President for Internet Explorer, announced the addition to the HTML5 Labs site of a new prototype - FileAPI - as well as announcing plans for the MediaCapture API.
Microsoft launched HTML5 Labs last December as the place where it shares prototypes of early and unstable standards, and committed to regularly update these prototypes and add additional prototypes based on what will most help with the testing of the specifications.
Since then, we have updated the WebSockets prototype three times and we have analyzed a number of specifications, with three new areas currently under active investigation. We have also been working with, and listening to, the feedback from early users, and have updated the HTML5 Labs site and given it a new look and feel.
For more context on all this, read the blog by Walid Abu-Hadba, the Corporate Vice President for Developer Platform & Evangelism, Scott Guthrie, and Soma Somasegar, a Senior Vice President in the Developer Division, about Standards-based web, plug-ins, and Silverlight. In this blog they share their thoughts on the role of plug-ins in general, and Silverlight in particular, in the context of HTML5 and the future of the web.
A new production version of Windows Azure AppFabric Access Control service was also announced at MIX. This enables you to build Single-Sign-On experience into applications by integrating with standards-based identity providers, including enterprise directories such as Active Directory, and consumer-oriented web identities such as Windows Live ID, Google, Yahoo! and Facebook.
The Access Control service enables this experience through commonly used industry standards to facilitate interoperability with other software and services that support the same standards.
by MichaelF on February 22, 2007 06:06pm
This paper will cover the installation and initial configuration of PostgreSQL 8.2 on Windows up to a point where a database is created and plpgsql is installed in it. We assume an ability to walk through the install wizard in general, though screens that do require additional information will be covered (with screenshots). Important options in the postgresql.conf and pg_hba.conf will be covered, as will database creation in PgAdmin III.
Attachment: postgresql on windows_final (revised).pdf
by admin on March 31, 2006 02:00pm
Microsoft’s Open Source Software Lab is an ambitious research project. Located on the company’s main campus, the lab houses more than 300 servers, which collectively run more than 15 versions of UNIX and 50 Linux distributions. It boasts a team of senior-level programmers and system administrators, some of whom were architects of popular Linux distributions or authors of well-regarded books. In short, the lab is one of a few such facilities in the world dedicated to open source research.
The driving force behind the lab is Bill Hilf, General Manager of Platform Strategy at Microsoft. Hilf joined the company in 2004 after working at IBM, where he was instrumental in driving IBM's Linux technical strategy for its emerging and competitive markets organization. Prior to his stint at IBM, Hilf was VP of Engineering at E-Toys, where he helped build the company's e-commerce infrastructure.
When Hilf speaks about the lab and his involvement, the usual response he gets is, “At Microsoft? Why run Open Source in a mixed environment at Microsoft?” While theories abound—ranging from “Microsoft is working on its own Linux implementation” to “Microsoft is considering porting Windows to Linux”—the truth is far simpler. The lab provides Microsoft with deeper insight into the world of open source software, and it helps the company improve how Microsoft products work with open source software.
“Contrary to the belief that Microsoft is anti-open source, the reality is not so black-and-white,” says Hilf. “Most customers don’t live in an either/or world, nor do they choose a technology based on its development model. Instead, they choose a technology based on its ability to serve a business need or solve a particular problem. By running open source software in a Windows environment, we’re learning how those technologies can work better together so that our customers can benefit from a broader range of choices.”
One of the issues being addressed in the lab is how Microsoft management tools can do a better job in heterogeneous environments. For example, for customers who are using Microsoft Systems Management Server or Microsoft Operations Manager and need to manage a Linux or UNIX server, the lab can provide input on which third-party technologies can enable that scenario.
Another example is the testing it has done with Windows Server 2003 R2, which includes a variety of UNIX-based services like Network File System (NFS) and Network Information Service (NIS). Collectively called the Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications, the lab tested those services extensively to see how well they could interoperate with open source software in a data center environment.
Practicing the Art of Coopetitition Although testing interoperability between Microsoft products and open source software is one of the lab’s primary roles, it’s not the only one. The lab also helps Microsoft to build better products through a deeper understanding of open source software.
“Licensing restrictions permitting we analyze and benchmark open source software in areas where Microsoft competes or has an interest,” says Hilf. “We share those results with other teams at Microsoft, who use the data to determine how we can improve our own products.”
One recent example is the work the lab did for the Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, which the company announced in late 2005 as part of its entrance into the high performance computing (HPC) market. Today, that market is largely dominated by Linux.
“When the product team first began building Compute Cluster Server, they asked us to find the best HPC solution from an open source perspective,” says Hilf. “We built a large, clustered system using Linux and did extensive benchmarking, then we wiped out that installation and ran the same tests for Compute Cluster Server. The data we collected will help us to deliver a more compelling product.”
“Both Windows and open source software will continue to be around for years to come, so it’s important that we test and analyze interoperability with open source software even if we may sometimes compete with some of this software – this is the real world where mixed environments exist,” says Hilf. “Coopetition – cooperating and competing – is part of the real world. Customers exist in the real world so we focus on what they care about, not what people philosophize about.”
Although there are many different ways that Microsoft could gain that desired knowledge about open source software, Hilf believes that one of the most effective ways is through a hands-on approach in which his team must address the same challenges as customers who run open source software in real-world scenarios.
“Deeply understanding a technology without actually using it would be like trying to deeply understand a foreign country without spending any time there,” says Hilf. “Listening to Berlitz language CDs or reading travel guides might help familiarize you with a foreign culture before you visit, but you’ll remain a tourist until you’ve lived there for a while.” Rather than function as a third-party trying to understand the open source phenomenon by looking in from the outside, the Microsoft Open Source Software lab is immersing itself deep into this space, relying on hands-on experience and hiring the necessary technical expertise to generate fact-based, unbiased information.
“We’re out to find the science that proves or disproves the statements made about open source software, so that we don’t need to guess or draw abstract conclusions,” says Hilf. “By being a center of knowledge and competency, we’re able to provide hard facts to Microsoft product teams when they ask questions on the state of management for open source software or the state of a certain open source application.”
A Piece of Fiber and a Hole in the Wall When Hilf was asked to build a lab and hire a team of researchers, he had no idea that he would literally be starting from scratch. Microsoft runs everything on Windows, yet Hilf had to make the lab a resemble a real-life, open source environment, meaning that he would probably get limited help from Microsoft’s IT group.
“During one of my first days on the job, I stood in an empty room while some IT guys threaded a network cable through a hole in the ceiling,” said Hilf. “I was still standing there, staring at the piece of fiber, when one of the guys came downstairs and said, ‘That's it—you're on your own now.’ Other than that cable, we literally had to build the lab from scratch.”
Hilf’s first step was to hire the lab’s staff, which would be its most important asset. The lab employs a mix of employees and contractors, all of whom have been senior developers or systems administrators in the open source community. Some have been chief architects or technical leads for Linux distributions, such as Daniel Robbins, the founder of Gentoo Linux, who worked in the lab from June 2005 to December 2005.
Other lab staffers have deep UNIX experience and are authors of UNIX books or tools. The lab also boasts open source software security experts, embedded developers, virtualization and clustering experts, and developers with strong backgrounds in GTK+, GNOME, KDE, and Localization.
After hiring a staff, Hilf began to assemble a vast array of different hardware, software, and applications. The lab contains more than 300 servers from vendors including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microtel, Penguin, Pogo, and Sun. The lab’s software is even more diverse, with some 15 versions of UNIX and 50 distributions of Linux—including many lesser-known ones like Asianux, CentOS and NetBSD.
“We run dozens of different versions of Linux to test open-source interoperability in a multitude of scenarios,” says Hilf. “And because we do everything on our own, from running our own network and security services to patching and updating, our environment mimics those of real customers.” If a Microsoft product makes it through this lab, it will probably survive in 90 percent of the UNIX, Linux and open source customer environments out there.”
An Open Source Bubble in a Sea of Microsoft One of the more interesting and unexpected dynamics at the lab is that this very large open source and UNIX shop is surrounded by the world’s largest all-Microsoft IT environment, which includes Windows-based security services, Internet proxies, mail services, and other IT infrastructure elements.
“Customers frequently ask us how we manage open source software inside such a Microsoft-centric IT environment,” says Hilf. “They want to know how we get the platforms to work together, how we handle software deployment, and what kind of tools we use. We’ve had to figure out ways to interoperate not just within the lab, which itself is incredibly complex and diverse—but also between the lab and the rest of Microsoft.”
The lab’s breadth of management tools parallels its diverse servers, operating systems, and other applications. For software management and distribution, the lab uses a combination of Microsoft Systems Management Server and mainstream open source software, solutions, and services, such as Vintela VMX, Kickstart, Red Carpet, Portage, and Red Hat Network. To remotely manage the lab’s more than 300 systems, lab staffers use SSH, VNC, X-Windows Tunneling and Windows Terminal Services.
While it’s highly unlikely that any single customer would run such a diverse range of technologies, mimicking a broad range of scenarios allows lab personnel to better understand the challenges that customers face and hopefully play a role in remedying those issues.
“Running such a diverse range of technologies within a Windows-centric IT infrastructure has allowed us to test interoperability on a daily basis,” says Hilf. “In the process, we’ve learned some very interesting things. Some are simple, like how to access the Internet from Linux machines behind a Microsoft ISA proxy. Others are more complex, like how to set up highly mixed storage and backup systems .
Building and Testing Interoperability at the Lab One of the lab’s more interesting discoveries came about while testing the interoperability of management tools—specifically, in extending Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) so that it can be used to manage UNIX, Linux, and even Apple systems.
“SMS was built to use an open protocol—called OpenWBEM—to communicate with other software that runs on non-Microsoft systems,” says Hilf. “By using that capability to extend SMS using Vintela Management Extensions (VMX), we’re able to manage all of our servers and desktops through a single interface..”
Another useful lesson in how commercial third-party software can be used to extend Microsoft products for use in a non-Windows environment involved Microsoft partners Centrify and Vintela, whose solutions the lab used to integrate its UNIX and open source systems with Microsoft’s Active Directory directory service, which provides identity, user access, and policy management services.
“The combination of Active Directory and Centrify Direct Control gives us a really powerful single authentication solution across a highly mixed environment. Although there are other ways to do this, we’ve had good success with this solution,” says Hilf.
The lab also played a role in helping test support for Linux in Microsoft Virtual Server 2005, Service Pack 1, which can virtualize Linux and Sun Solaris operating systems on servers running Windows. “We ran all 50 Linux distributions as guest operating systems on a single machine running Virtual Server,” says Hilf. “It worked out very well because we didn’t need a separate server to test each version of Linux.”
In “A Look Inside Microsoft’s Open Source Software Lab – Part 2,” (available here the week of 4/10/2006), we examine some of the lab’s other areas of focus, including work to facilitate skills transfer between Windows-based and UNIX/open source environments. We also look at research the lab is doing to better understand related aspects of the open source software where it may be headed next, including a look at the community development model and other key trends.
by Sam Ramji on May 31, 2007 05:36pm
I got the chance to meet many extremely smart developers last month at SambaXP, the annual Samba developer conference. After attending I’m convinced that the Samba team knows more about how Windows networking works than most Microsoft developers.
One of the most informative sessions I attended was led by Dr. David Holder, an expert on IP networking and Windows/Linux interoperability. Specifically, he focuses on the IPv6 protocol, implementation, and interop, where he sees great opportunities for improved service levels in a range of applications and environments, but also sees a coming wave of interoperability problems between IPv6 implementations on various platforms.
He’s done some very slick stuff in getting Samba to work with Windows Vista and Longhorn’s IPv6 stack, which is encouraging, and lays out a roadmap for future interop work between the platforms.
We are posting the link to his slides along with this podcast of his interview, and David will be available to answer questions posted to the comments section of this page.
Dr. Holder's SambaXP “Vista and Samba with IPv6” presentation:
Details regarding how to IPv6 enable Samba4:
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.
by Peter Galli on April 19, 2010 04:08pm
Microsoft today announced at DrupalCon 2010 the release of a Community Technology Preview of the new SQL Server Driver for PHP 2.0 with support for PHP Data Objects.
This is a new technical bridge for PHP developers that will make it less complex for them to target multiple databases, and make it easier for PHP applications like the upcoming Drupal 7 release to interoperate smoothly with SQL Server 2005 and all later versions.
The CTP release gives developers the chance to check out the tool and provide feedback ahead of the release of the final version in the second half of this year.
Drupal is an open source Content Management System written in PHP software. In order for SQL Server to work with Drupal 7, it needs a PDO driver and Drupal Abstraction Layer for that database.
Microsoft is providing the PDO driver for SQL 2005 and later, and the Commerce Guys, a company that provides ecommerce solutions with Drupal, is releasing the Drupal Database Abstraction Layer for SQL Server 2005 and later.
The Commerce Guys presented at DrupalCon 2010 a beta version of Drupal 7 running on SQL Server using this new SQL Server driver with PDO.
Being able to access SQL Server through PDO will benefit PHP developers by reducing the complexity of targeting multiple databases and will make it easier to take advantage of SQL Server features such as business intelligence & reporting as well as SQL Azure features like exposing OData feeds.
For more technical information on this latest technical bridge, read Ashay Chaudhary's blog post, as well as the SQL Server Driver for PHP team blog.
This latest initiative is just one of many that underscore Microsoft's broad commitment to openness through expanding choice and opportunity for customers, partners and developers.
by billhilf on September 10, 2009 12:47pm
It's been a while since I made an appearance on Port25. I felt it was important to provide some thoughts to the Port25 community on Sam Ramji's impending departure from Microsoft.
After many years helping to carry the open source software banner for the company, Sam is leaving Microsoft at the end of this month. You may have also heard that he has accepted the position of interim President of the CodePlex Foundation as well as a leadership position at a startup in California. (I'll let Sam and his new company share more details there.)
Sam joined my team three years ago to drive open source technical strategy. I have eagerly supported him as he passionately articulated a vision that Microsoft could coexist - and even thrive - in a heterogeneous IT world.
The perspectives on OSS at Microsoft have evolved to the point where Microsoft's open source strategy is no longer just locked in a single ‘lab' on campus - now OSS is an important part of many product groups and strategies across the company. We have become increasingly clear on where we work with open source - development methodologies, projects, partners, products and communities - and where our products compete with commercial open source companies or platforms. Today, there are engineering and business leaders across the company, myself included, looking at how to drive interoperability for customers and as a lever for new growth.
And, because we recognize the importance of having that strong internal advocate for open source, we are actively seeking someone to fill Sam's shoes at Microsoft.
We will not waver in our commitment to open source.
To my friend Sam: Best of luck to you and your family as you move on to your next great adventure, and THANK YOU for all of your efforts and passion.
by Claudio Caldato on February 02, 2011 06:05am
Google recently announced that its Chrome web browser will stop supporting the H.264 video format. At Microsoft we respect that Windows customers want the best experience of the web including the ability to enjoy the widest range of content available on the Internet in H.264 format.
Today, as part of the interoperability bridges work we do on this team, we are making available the Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension for Chrome, which is an extension for Google Chrome to enable Windows 7 customers who use Chrome to continue to play H.264 video.
We believe that Windows customers should be able to play mainstream HTML5 video and, as we've described in previous posts, Internet Explorer 9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec.
We are committed to ensuring that Windows customers have the best Web experience, and we have been offering for several years now the extremely popular Windows Media Player plug-in for Firefox, which is downloaded by millions of people a month who want to watch Windows Media content.
We also recently provided an add-on for Windows 7 customers who choose Firefox to play H.264 video so as to enable interoperability across IE, Firefox and Chrome using HTML5 video on Windows.
For many reasons - which you can read about on other blog posts here, here and here - H.264 is an excellent and widely-used video format that serves the web very well today. As such, we will continue to ensure that developers and customers continue to have an optimal Web experience.
Principal Program Manager, Interoperability Strategy Team
by Peter Galli on November 17, 2009 12:14pm
Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's Chief Software Architect, used the company's annual Professional Developers Conference here in Los Angeles to announce the availability of the Windows Azure platform.
That platform consists of Windows Azure, the operating system as-a-service, and SQL Azure, a fully relational database in the cloud. The Service Bus and Access Control services, formerly known as the .NET Services, now run directly within Windows Azure and are known as Windows Azure platform AppFabric Service.
Microsoft will continue to offer Windows Azure as a Community Technology Preview until the end of this year, after which it will switch to a production service under which Azure's cloud services will be made available to enterprises. But users will get a fee pass in January, since charges will only start accruing in February.
In his opening keynote, Ozzie also announced that a small number of customers will go into production today, including Automattic, Inc., the maker of WordPress, which is now live on Azure. Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic, Inc., took the stage to demonstrate MySQL, PHP, and Apache support on Windows Azure, as well as to announce that his company is launching a new site that runs on SQL Azure.
Ozzie also used his keynote to made clear that reaching all developers was top of mind for Microsoft.
"To most developers, to developers like you, Windows Azure appears as a model based extension to Visual Studio, enabling you to build apps that leverage your skills in SQL, IIS, ASP.NET, and .NET Framework. Alternatively, and of course it's your choice, you might leverage your skills by using MySQL and PHP within Azure, or you might instead take advantage of our new Azure tools for Java and Eclipse. Reaching all developers is incredibly important to us," he said.
Windows Azure now supported any kind of Windows code and programming model, and any kind of multi-role, multi-tier service design pattern, supporting extremely flexible binding and arbitrary relationships between roles, Ozzie said.
"Because you wanted it, we've broadened far beyond just the .NET programming model, and the Web role, worker role service design pattern. We added support for FastCGI, enabling high scale Web apps to be written in any of a variety of programming languages. And, in sessions this week, you're going to see the Windows Azure team quickly building and deploying Java apps, running under Tomcat. You'll see PHP apps under MySQL," he said.
Earlier this year, Microsoft enabled .NET full trust and native code applications. This functionality allowed developers to spawn xcopy deployable processes. As a result, Java applications can now be packaged and run.
Today, we announced that we are delivering a solution accelerator for Tomcat, an open source software implementation of the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies, as well as launching a Java SDK for Windows Azure Storage (tables, blogs, and queues). External endpoints (inbound traffic) to worker roles have also been enabled, which enables applications that receive internet traffic that aren't running under IIS.
During his keynote Ozzie also introduced Vivek Kundra, the Federal Chief Information Officer at the White House, who spoke via live feed from Washington D.C., and who encouraged developers to take advantage of the vast amount of public data to create applications using this new Microsoft technology.
"I'm really excited about what NASA is doing in cooperation with Microsoft with the launch of the Pathfinder Innovation Challenge ... anybody can participate and look at the data that has been democratized through NASA on the Azure platform, that allows people to look around the red planet, slice and dice, and cube, and create information, and advance our understanding of the universe," Kundra said.
This commitment to all developers is not new. When Ozzie first announced the Windows Azure platform at PDC last year, Sam Ramji blogged that developers will also be able to choose from a range of open source development tools and technologies, and be able to access Azure services using a variety of common internet standards, including HTTP, REST, WS* and Atom.
"The Azure platform's goal is to support all developers and their choice of IDE, language and technology. We are also providing programmable components that can be consumed by other applications, and Microsoft is funding and sponsoring open source software development kits to enable Java and Ruby developers to take advantage of Azure. This is significant as this is the first time we are delivering cross-platform software development kits at the same time as Microsoft Developer Network software development kits," he said.
And, earlier this year, Microsoft introduced the PHP SDK for Windows Azure, an open source effort for which Microsoft has provided funding, with development by RealDolmen, whose goal is to provide high-level abstractions that enable PHP developers to interoperate readily with Windows Azure.
The PHP SDK for Windows Azure focuses on REST and provides PHP classes for Windows Azure blobs, tables and queue, helper classes for HTTP transport, AuthN/AuthZ, REST and error management, as well as manageability, instrumentation and logging support.
Next up at PDC 2009 was Bob Muglia, President of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business, who noted that Microsoft is converging on a common developer platform for both servers and services, that will enable developers to continue using familiar .NET Framework and Visual Studio tools and technologies, as well as third party tools such as Eclipse, to create and monetize applications that run on the server and as services in the cloud.
Muglia also announced the company's plan to offer Windows Server Virtual Machine support on Windows Azure, enabling customers to more easily support virtualized infrastructure across the continuum of on premises and cloud computing.
In addition, Muglia announced the new release of ASP.NET MVC beta 2, a free, fully-supported framework that enables developers to rapidly build standards-based Web applications through rich AJAX integration and enhanced extensibility.
In other related news, SugarCRM, a provider of commercial open source customer relationship management software, today also announced that it will offer its CRM applications on Windows Azure to enable its customers and value-added resellers to benefit from the real-time scalability, high availability and on-demand infrastructure of Azure.
"With Windows Azure, Microsoft has built a true cloud computing platform going well beyond the simple hosted infrastructure that most service providers offer today. Windows Azure enables SugarCRM value-added resellers to create and deploy unique solutions for customers around the globe. This new service is another key component of the Sugar Open Cloud, the SugarCRM cloud strategy for delivering simple, affordable CRM anywhere based on customer need," said Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM, in a press statement.
by MichaelF on August 22, 2006 03:35pm
Just returning from Linux World in San Francisco, and virtualization was once again the topic du jour. A lot of you outside of the technology vendor-sphere (where we like to speak in weird acronyms and corporate buzzwords), might wonder why Microsoft and many others can’t stop talking about virtualization. Go to any IT conference today and it’s highly likely there will be at least some sessions, if not a bevy of keynote speeches, on the topic of virtualization. These are usually accompanied by marketecture diagrams of lego-block like pictures showing different operating systems all running in some combination on top of a single physical server. Having once worked at IBM, I’m long familiar with the idea of virtualization, often called ‘logical partitioning’ in IBM mainframe speak. However, the reason why there’s so much discussion around virtualization today is because it is becoming much more widely available at a much better value than it has in past. Intel and AMD have improved their microprocessors to make them virtualization aware (in the past, virtual machine managers had to do all sorts of silliness to get around the very virtualization unaware x86 instruction set). This has allowed virtual machine software developers to build powerful technologies, often called hypervisors, that can reside in the operating system itself, allowing for much more efficient, reliable and seamless virtualization of one operating system or systems on top of the ‘host’ operating system.
Cool science project or is there any real use for this stuff? Let me give you a simple example of how we’ve used this here in our Open Source Labs. We provide quite a few different types of Linux distributions of various version levels and hardware architectures for testing and analysis, probably over fifty or so all told. Typically, you would use a single server (or even a single PC) for each operating system, which would mean about fifty different machines. Each of those machines requires power, cooling, new parts, maintenance, and so on. The costs add up quickly; in some data centers I’ve seen, power and cooling can be over half of the total operations costs year over year. In our lab, we can run almost all of these Linux distributions on one server, a four-way Opteron-based HP server with eight gigs of memory and a lot of disk. This is for testing, so I wouldn’t run this many virtual guest images on anything with heavy production workloads, but you get the idea. Bottom line, I save money and time (particularly in systems management).
I’ve also spoken with customers who are using virtualization for disaster recovery and backup scenarios, new deployment scenarios where a call center or branch office can be ‘installed’ with virtualized images in a fraction of the time as traditional server installs, and scenarios where testing and quality assurance groups can do large, diverse and automated testing of hardware and software across dozens of types of operating system configurations. IDC forecasted that 45 percent of new servers purchased this year will be virtualized.
Virtualization is a critical part of the Microsoft strategy, and we have been in this business for a while with our Virtual PC and Virtual Server 2005 products. Today, Virtual Server 2005 R2 is available as a free download. We’ve also opened up the specifications of our Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) Image format with Virtual Server 2005. You can use this specification to learn how to access (read & modify) the data stored in a VPC or Virtual Server virtual hard disk. The VHD format spec is available under a royalty-free license.
We are making even larger investments with our ‘Viridian’ hypervisor and System Center Virtual Machine Manager (code named ‘Carmine’) projects. These are the names for our Windows Server Longhorn virtualization hypervisor and virtualization management product, respectively. You can download the beta of System Center Virtual Machine Manager today. From what I’ve seen thus far in the development of these products, you can expect some great software from us in this area. You may want to check out Mike Neil’s post about how we announced and demoed much of this at WinHec this year – Mike also has a link to a video of the WinHec virtualization demos from Bill Gates’ keynote.
Related to this, we recently announced an important partnership between Microsoft and XenSource. XenSource is the company around the open source Xen project – the leading virtualization technology in Linux. Peter Levine, CEO of XenSource, discussed our partnership in his Linux World San Francisco keynote. Together with XenSource we will be working on enabling great virtualization between Windows and Linux, which is significant for customers running heterogeneous environments looking to consolidate servers and to take advantage of the new deployment scenarios – like I described above – in the future. This work will be part of our Longhorn server plans, taking advantage of our virtualization technology, Viridan. I’m personally very excited by this partnership and this is an indicator of how we think about our long term product roadmaps vis a vis interoperability.
There is a lot happening in this area of virtualization and I think it’s one of the most important change agents in our industry. Sure there will be all sorts of hype, which is typical of where we’re at in this adoption curve, but I’ve seen how this can save money/time in my own labs and I’ve talked with customers who are finding similar advantages. Exciting times indeed. -bill
Microsoft today signed a collaboration agreement with China Standard Software Corporation (CS2C), the country’s leading domestic Linux operating system provider, to jointly develop, market and sell solutions for the cloud-computing market in China.
The deal will help provide the mixed source infrastructure necessary to facilitate the rapid growth and change taking place across China, where cloud-based infrastructure is budding across cities and provinces.
The primary goal of this agreement, which was announced at a joint event in Beijing today, is to provide public and private cloud solutions to a diverse array of industries through a rich partner ecosystem.
The mixed source solutions stemming from this collaboration will be built on Microsoft’s Hyper-V Open Cloud architecture and will include support to run CS2C NeoKylin Linux Server products.
As Sandy Gupta, the General Manager for Microsoft’s Open Solutions Group, notes in his blog, Microsoft is working with CS2C to bring about a true, open architecture in the area of cloud management and automation for IT organizations throughout China.
“A cornerstone of this agreement is for CS2C-branded Linux servers to run under the Hyper-V Cloud architecture as a first class guest. CS2C and Microsoft will work together to enable CS2C Linux to run well on Hyper-V and be managed through Microsoft System Center,” Gupta says.
Microsoft and CS2C have also pledged to sponsor a joint virtual technology lab in Beijing for solution development and testing of cloud solutions that will allow customers to move to virtualization and a cloud-based IT infrastructure.
The lab will focus on the certification of CS2C NeoKylin Operating System on Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V, creating Microsoft Systems Center management packs for CS2C NeoKylin Operating System application workloads, and incorporating support for CS2C NeoKylin Operating System within the Hyper-V Cloud architecture.
As part of the collaboration, CS2C will also join the Interop Vendor Alliance, an established community of software and hardware vendors that have been working together to enhance interoperability with Microsoft systems.
In addition to establishing market and technology collaboration, the two companies have also signed a customer legal covenant agreement.
In line with Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to Interoperability, Gupta notes that “interoperable Linux and Windows offerings will empower customers to build solutions that will enable them to capitalize on opportunities to expand, grow and achieve the focus necessary to fuel innovation.”
Han Naiping, the president of CS2C, notes that this is an “important opportunity to collaborate with Microsoft to deliver comprehensive, flexible, cloud-based solutions that will serve as a platform for business growth.”
You can read more about this agreement on Sandy Gupta’s blog and in the press release.