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Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to us by Eric Weidner, OpenLogic Co-founder and Director of Engineering, describing how the company provides support and services for CentOS customers, including details on how to get OpenLogic CentOS images running on Windows Azure Virtual Machines.
OpenLogic provides services and support for over 700 different open source packages, including commercial-grade support for CentOS, an enterprise-class Linux distribution derived from the publicly-available source code for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Our goal with supporting CentOS is to enable Enterprises to take advantage of a fully open alternative to the popular enterprise Linux distributions that customers already know and use.
Since April or so of last year, we have had a close working relationship with the Windows Azure team, with the goal of making Open Logic CentOS images available in the image gallery of the Windows Azure Preview Management Portal. Our counterparts, like Henry Jerez, have been very focused on delivering a great solution for our mutual customers, working with us to meet a series of goals in order to make our “go live” dates.
What’s great about CentOS and Windows Azure is that there’s really very little required to get the OpenLogic images running. For users, it’s as easy as picking the Open Logic CentOS image in the Windows Azure portal, answering a few questions for the basic setup, and then a CentOS server can be launched in about five minutes. There are also tools available to give developers the ability to automate interactions with the platform.
Customers running OpenLogic CentOS images on Windows Azure can expect to have a vast, selectable and truly predictable deployment process in place. Additionally, they get servers running a distribution they are already familiar with using in their traditional data centers.
To illustrate just how easy it is, below is the step-by-step detail for how to create a custom virtual machine running an OpenLogic CentOS image using the Windows Azure Management Portal:
The virtual machine is created and operating system settings are configured. When the virtual machine is created, you will see the new virtual machine listed as Running in the Windows Azure Management Portal.
Easy as that! As I said previously, about a five minute process in total.
It’s great to see the commitment to open source projects by Microsoft, and the moves they’ve been making to open up Windows Azure to Linux. Not only has Microsoft open sourced the drivers, including contributing them to the upstream kernel projects, to allow people to run Linux on their hypervisors and platforms, but they’ve also created open source tools for developers to use to interact with the platform. You can also find the source code and instructions for building from source and running the drivers on Github and Codeplex.
For a summary of how this work is benefiting CentOS and Windows Azure customers, check out my interview alongside OpenLogic’s CEO Steven Grandchamp on the Microsoft Openness blog . To start running OpenLogic’s CentOS images as part of the current Virtual Machines Preview, go to the Windows Azure site.