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Friday, 10 June 2016 08:30

Microsoft announces its own FreeBSD to ensure Azure support

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Microsoft has announced its own distribution of FreeBSd 10.3 as a means of supporting the operating system on its cloud platform, Azure.

In a blog post, Jason Anderson, principal manager at the company's open source technology centre, said this meant that not only could one quickly bring up a FreeBSD virtual machine in Azure, but also that Microsoft could be called on for support if needed.

Anderson said it was important for FreeBSD to run in Azure because many top-tier virtual appliance vendors base their products on the operating system.

"Over the past two years, we've worked closely with Citrix Systems, Array Networks, Stormshield, Gemalto and Netgate to bring their virtual appliances to the Azure Marketplace, and we’re continuing to work with a long list of others for future offerings," Anderson said.

"However, if you wanted to run your own FreeBSD image in Azure, your only option so far was to bring a custom image from outside of Azure."

Most of the effort invested in developing FreeBSD at the kernel level to enable network and storage performance would be upstreamed to the FreeBSD project, Anderson said.

He said while FreeBSD was supported on Hyper-V back to 10.3, selective ports of some drivers were provided for versions back to 8.4.

"Having said that, it's definitely possible to bring your own FreeBSD VM image from an older version, with the provided ports and installed Azure VM Agent, into Azure for your use," Anderson said.

"However your mileage may vary in terms of performance and stability. For example, our measured networking throughput on a 10Gb network on FreeBSD 10.1 was 2Gbps. With 10.3, we’ve been able to achieve over 9Gbps in testing."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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