Microsoft's cloud business depends on Linux

Microsoft’s cloud plans seem to depend  on working with Linux.

Writing in his bog, Sandy Gupta, Supreme Marketing Man for Microsoft’s Open Solutions Group,  said he has spent a large chunk of his year selling mixed Microsoft/Linux cloud ideas to hosters and service providers.

Today he is expected to announce how Microsoft will be expanding its interoperability plans to the Linux community. He announced that it will support Windows Server2008 R2 Hyper-V to run CentOS. Hosters tend to use the Linux distribution a lot and most of them said that before they could entertain Microsoft cloud ideas, it had to work with that.

The announcement means that hosting partners can consolidate their mixed Windows + Linux infrastructure on Windows Server Hyper-V. Strangely, Microsoft is pushing the fact that such a cunning plan would reduce cost and complexity. Historically Microsoft has implied that any system that involves Linux will be more expensive than its own proprietary systems.

Microsoft’s Private Cloud looks like it will be entirely cross platform. It will support multiple hypervisors and an automated mixed source Cloud. It will be a brave new world where punters deploy patches and updates across Windows and Linux Servers from one terminal.

Gupta said that Microsoft was working out how to be more open in its software development and improve its work with the open source community.

While this all sounds interesting, it does mean that Microsoft has worked out that to get acceptance for its cloud, it has to work with Linux, or it is not going to be able to sell anything.

With most of the ISPs running Linux, Microsoft is finding it hard to get a foot in the door, particularly with VMWare able to defeat it at every turn.

What is important for the development of Open Source, is that Microsoft’s future plans depend on the cloud, and to defeat VMWare and its other cloud rivals it needs to lose the anti-Linux rhetoric. To succeed where it wants to go, Microsoft needs to be a dedicated open sourcer.

It will be interesting to see if Gupta is able to convert the rest of Redmond to his vision