Microsoft has launched its own Linux distribution, Azure Linux, as a generally available option for the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Azure Linux is an open-source container host OS that is optimized for Azure and aimed at making it easier for developers to use Microsoft's tools to deploy and manage container workloads.
Azure Linux is based on CBL-Mariner, a Linux distribution created by Microsoft for its internal use. CBL-Mariner is designed to provide a consistent and secure platform for cloud and edge scenarios. Azure Linux inherits these features and adds some Azure-specific enhancements, such as integration with Azure Monitor, Azure Policy, and Azure Security Center.
Azure Linux has been in production with services such as Xbox, Playfab, Minecraft and more than 100 Azure services. According to Microsoft, Azure Linux offers several benefits for AKS users, such as:
- Faster node provisioning and boot times
- Reduced OS image size and resource consumption
- Improved security and compliance with regular OS updates
- Simplified support experience with a single point of contact for both AKS and Azure Linux
Expanding the Reach of Azure on Linux
Azure Linux is available as a node pool option for AKS clusters in all regions where AKS is supported. Users can choose from three different VM sizes: Standard_D2s_v3, Standard_D4s_v3, and Standard_D8s_v3. Users can also migrate their existing AKS clusters to Azure Linux using the node image upgrade feature.
Azure Linux is part of Microsoft's broader effort to embrace Linux and open-source technologies on its cloud platform. According to Microsoft, more than 50 percent of all Azure compute cores are Linux. Microsoft also offers a range of common Linux distributions on Azure, including Red Hat, SUSE, Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, and CoreOS.
Additionally, Microsoft supports various open-source applications and tools on Azure, such as Java, Python, PHP, Node.js, Go, .NET Core, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, SQL on Linux, Cassandra, Redis, Ansible , OpenShift , Chef , Jenkins , Puppet, and Terraform. With Azure Linux, Microsoft hopes to provide a seamless and secure Linux experience for every workload on Azure. Users can try Azure Linux for free with an Azure free account or contact sales for assistance.