Azure Stack Technical Preview Includes Canonical Ubuntu Images

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The first technical preview of Azure Stack will be live on Friday, Microsoft announced on Tuesday, with bold pronouncements about being the only full power true hybrid cloud platform. Perhaps more surprising than the lofty ambitions for the private and hybrid bundle is the inclusion of validated Ubuntu images provided by Canonical.

Azure supports Ubuntu, as well as Debian and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Microsoft announced in September it had built its Azure data center network operating system with a Linux base. Now, touting the consistency of the platform as a differentiator, Microsoft will release the Azure Stack to technical preview with open source application compatibility.

“Microsoft is delivering on the next phase of its hybrid cloud strategy with the first Technical Preview of Microsoft Azure Stack – the only hybrid cloud platform that is consistent with a leading public cloud. Born from Azure, Azure Stack helps organizations deliver Azure services from their own datacenter,” said Microsoft V of Enterprise Cloud Mike Neil in a blog post.

Azure Stack features “write once, deploy to Azure or Azure Stack” approach to maximize application developers’ productivity. It allows IT professionals to use the same management and automation tools Microsoft uses to operate Azure to deploy on-premises resources into Azure IaaS and PaaS services with oversight. Everything from architecture to DevOps tools is consistent from Azure to Azure Stack, Microsoft says.

OS images and Azure Resource Manager templates will be included in further technical previews, along with other services and content, and Azure Stack services corresponding to the hundreds of Azure applications and components available on GitHub will gradually be released as well.

Further Azure and Ubuntu innovation will be announced later in the year, according to a Canonical blog post. “Ubuntu will form an integral part of the Azure Stack offering, given 70 per cent of the most popular cloud workloads run on Ubuntu,” said Canonical VP of Worldwide Alliances, Business Development, and Cloud Platform John Zannos. “Users of Azure Stack will run the same software that runs on the Azure public cloud.”

AT&T announced that Canonical will provide the Ubuntu OS and support for its cloud and enterprise applications earlier in January.

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