Microsoft Reluctantly Bows To Linux Users

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols | ZDNet | January 2, 2012

Why will Microsoft be releasing a persistent virtual machine feature on its Azure cloud platform so users can host Linux? Because that's what its customers want.

Ace Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley swears she's not drinking. Microsoft really is getting ready to enable customers to make Linux and Windows virtual machines (VMs) persistent on Windows Azure, its public platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud service.

That Microsoft was going to enable users to set up persistent VMs on Azure came as no surprise. While Azure has persistent storage, its inability to keep a VM persistent has annoyed many people, and not just Linux server managers. I know several SharePoint and SQL Server administrators who've avoided Azure because of this lack. There are ways to hack your way around the lack of a persistent Azure VM, but they're not easy.

According to Foley's sources, Microsoft will launch a Community Technology Preview (CTP) test-build of the persistent VM capability in the spring of 2012. Microsoft itself has been close-mouthed about support for persistent VMs and supporting Linux on it in particular.