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Azure dominated by Linux users: software giant joins Linux security list

Azure dominated by Linux users: software giant joins Linux security list

Microsoft Azure has more Linux users than Windows Server users. In 2017, 40 percent of the Azure virtual machines were Linux-based, and last year the percentage had already risen to 50 percent. Sasha Levin, Microsoft Linux kernel developer, has therefore asked Microsoft to join the Linux security list.

Not only Azure customers of Microsoft turn to Linux, also the software giant itself has switched to Linux and thus open-source software. Native Azure services often run on Linux, Microsoft builds more of these services, for example, Azure Software Defined Network (SDN) is based on Linux, said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the cloud & enterprise group at Microsoft.

It started more than 10 years ago when we launched ASP.NET open source. We recognized that open source is something that every developer can benefit from. It’s not fun, but it’s essential. It’s more than just code, it’s a community.

Decrease Windows Server users

The use of Windows Server has been decreasing for years and the number of Linux users is increasing every month. In the most recent report of IDC Worldwide Operating Systems and Subsystems Market Shares for 2017, Linux held 68 percent of the market. The share has only increased since then, according to ZDnet. It was therefore only a matter of time for Linux to dominate even on Azure.

There are now eight mintens Linux-distros available on Azure, not counting Microsoft’s own Azure Sphere. That’s a software and hardware stack designed to secure edge devices, including a custom Linux kernel, said Microsoft President Brad Smith.

Linux security list

It is therefore not surprising that Microsoft has been asked to join the Linux security list. This list includes developers from FreeBSD, NetBSD, and many of the major Linux distributors. Think of names like Canonical, Debian, Red Hat, SUSE and cloud Linux suppliers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Oracle.

The purpose of the list is to report and discuss security issues that are not yet in the public domain. Almost all the development work of Linux is carried out transparently. One of the few exceptions is when companies or hackers reveal unpatched security vulnerabilities to Linux developers. In those cases, these problems are first revealed in the closed linux-distro list. Listed administrators ask that security holes be kept private no longer than 14 days after they have been revealed to the group.

Linux development partner

Microsoft has a decades long history of addressing security issues through the Microsoft Security Response Center. Although we can make a build within two hours to make security issues public, we have to test and validate extensively. That before we make these builds public. Being a member of this mailing list gives us the extra time we need for extensive testing, according to Levin. This shows that Microsoft is now seen as a full Linux development partner.

Read also: SUSE Linux wants to close the gap between server and cloud

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.