by Sandy Gupta on September 14, 2010 10:30am

I was in Beijing this summer to represent Microsoft at the 5th annual Open Source China Open Source World Summit, sponsored by the China Open Source Promotion Union (COPU).

Led by conference chairman, Dr. Lu Shouqun, there were a series of 20 minute back-to-back keynote addresses by representatives of commercial and academic institutes. The speakers included representatives from Apache Software Foundation, Linux Foundation, CS2C, Red Flag, etc., and they provided the perspective of the opportunities and challenges in China with respect to open source. It was clear that the intersection of open source and cloud was on the mind of many of all participants.

For many customers, cloud means the ability to build/run new generation of scalable applications and lowering their capital expenditure at the same time. They expect the cloud to be a highly scalable and available platform to develop/run these applications that help differentiate their solutions from their competitors.

The benefit of open source to cloud can come in few different ways: from the ability to use the language runtimes and tools of their choice and familiarity - PHP, Java, Ruby, Mono, Eclipse, etc - to the open source SDKs from cloud vendors that provide sample codes which can help developers simplify their ramp up into PaaS clouds like Windows Azure.

The Azure Interop SDK and Solution Accelerators do exactly that: they make it simple for .Net, Tomcat/Java, PHP, Ruby, MySQL, etc. developers to move their applications to Windows Azure using sample codes and language/tools of their choice.

Red Hat announced last week that they are working on wrapper for storage API for Microsoft Azure as part of their DeltaCloud initiative. This is yet another example of how open source can be used to enable developers and customers to ramp up on Windows Azure like PaaS Cloud.

The intersection of open source and cloud will continue to be an interesting discussion as developers and customers adopt cloud as the platform to develop their new generation applications.