Azure and Microsoft Love Linux and Open-source

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Are you struggling to get support from your team because they feel that Azure doesn’t provide enough support for Open-source? Do you work on a Linux workstation/laptop or on macOS/OS X, or are you really hard core and use FreeBSD? If you use one of these *NIX type environments how do you get started on the Azure cloud? The good news is that Microsoft LOVES Linux and Open-source. Let’s take a look at using open source with Microsoft Azure in a bit more detail.

Visual Studio

Visual Studio has just become available for macOS. Which is really awesome. For those of you not on macOS or Windows or just not sure about the preview release, you can also use Visual Studio Code, which isn’t a full featured IDE, but does provide a similar editor experience.

Azure CLI

If working at a console/terminal or command line interface is more your cup of tea, then Azure has a CLI. The original CLI is available as a nodejs application here. More recently the Microsoft team released a new Azure CLI that’s based on python and feels a little bit smoother to use. You can deploy both of these tools on your desktop (Linux, macOS, Windows+Ubuntu) or as Docker images in your favourite Docker engine.

Exploring Azure’s GitHub

It’s also worth noting that Azure has a massive GitHub presence with many repos for SDKs (Python, Node, Ruby), templates and example code. There’s at least 360 repos!

PowerShell, .Net and Windows+Ubuntu

Your other options are to use PowerShell or .Net natively on your Linux/macOS environment or you could also move to Windows 10 with the Ubuntu shell. Both are really great options to ensure teams are consistent no matter what their development preferences are.

Azure’s Container Service

Azure has a very lucrative container offering where you can run Docker containers of Linux or Windows. With their Kubernetes, DC/OS and swam integration you get a full featured Docker experience to run all your apps and scale with ease.

Enterprise Workloads

You may not care too much development environments, but you’ll likely have enterprise workloads that run on Linux OS’. Azure has a great Marketplace of many offerings and if you can’t find what you need there is instructions on how to build your own images.

Find these distributions and many pre-configured application stack examples in the Azure Marketplace.

Infrastructure Management Tooling

I’d recommend if building any infrastructure in Azure to use Azure Resource Manager templates and then use tools such as:

If you want to bake or fry images for your applications, the Azure team have added a plugin to Packer as well.

As you can see, Microsoft loves Linux and open source and they are committed to building the community. Microsoft recently announced they hired Brendan Burns, a senior staff engineer at Google, who has spent the past several years leading development of its Kubernetes open source orchestration technology for Docker containers and also Ross Gardler, who is President of the Apache Software Foundation. Hopefully this blog has helped show you that there is no reason to wait and you should jump on the wave and ride the open source journey on the Azure Cloud.

Part 2 in our Microsoft Azure Innovations blog series.

Greg Cockburn
Principal Cloud Architect/Chief Engineer for Bulletproof, Greg has extensive expertise in the Information Technology space and has specialised in UNIX and Linux Systems Administrations and broader application operations. Certified as an AWS APN Cloud Warrior and recognised for his AWS subject matter expertise, Greg has most recently focused on human organisation and how culture, process and interaction helps teams and businesses success.