back to article SUSE and Microsoft give enterprise Linux an Azure tune-up

Longtime Linux slinger SUSE has emitted a kernel optimised for the cloudy world of Microsoft Azure. Microsoft's embrace of Linux is well-documented, with even its client OS seeing some penguin-based love in ways that would have been unthinkable a few short years ago. Redmond sees its future in the cloud, and so is keen to …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Trollface

    "this tuned kernel [..] will see network throughput jump by up to 25 per cent"

    Yeah, as long as the connection isn't down. Right, Gatwick ?

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: "this tuned kernel [..] will see network throughput jump by up to 25 per cent"

      "Yeah, as long as the connection isn't down. Right, Gatwick ?"

      As per any cloud service. For Azure you can get diverse private connectivity to Express Route from among others Megaport and Equinix.

  2. Dwarf Silver badge

    Not that I'm one to support Microsoft...

    But I think you'll find that its Vodafone that fessed up to the Gatwick issue.

    It must be tough doing those resilient network link things - bleeding edge technology I tell you, after all its not like its been available for decades or anything like that.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Not that I'm one to support Microsoft...

      "after all its not like its been available for decades or anything like that."

      Directly to Azure though it's a more recent option.

      1. Dwarf Silver badge

        Re: Not that I'm one to support Microsoft...

        @TheVogon

        Are you saying that Azure connectivity does not follow recognised good practice regarding availability and failover ??

  3. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge

    Azured Performance

    Buy your Linux from Microsoft.

  4. Alan Mackenzie
    FAIL

    At what cost?

    We can be sure that if performance has gone up, and store usage gone down, by around a quarter in both cases, there will be some cost to be paid. Some features of Linux will be unavailable, or the security will be down, or something like that. Why didn't the writer of this article find this out and tell us?

    1. thames

      Re: At what cost?

      From what I can tell it's just something to let the kernel know that it is running in a VM and to use the VM's direct interfaces for storage and networking rather than using emulated interfaces. This is something that Linux versions optimised for VMs have been doing for years.

      Generally, when you are running a generic kernel on a VM you lose some I/O capacity if you are talking to it as if it were emulated hardware. Most VM makers offer a way around that so that the I/O systems can talk directly to the VM bypassing the emulation features.

      About size months ago Microsoft started offering a version of MS Azure with hardware accelerators for I/O (google "TCP offload engine" for examples). Such things have been available for years in things like NIC interfaces if you run directly on your own server hardware instead of using "cloud" versions.

      "Cloud" versions of course require additional support from the VM so that different cloud instances can share the hardware without stepping on each others toes. The new Suse version just has added modules to use the interfaces in Azure for this.

      I'm not sure what is really new in this announcement, since according to Microsoft the previous version of Suse had this, as well as Red Hat, CENTOS, and Ubuntu. It might be just that there was a delay in support for this feature in the new version of Suse that came out recently but now it's there for people looking to upgrade their version of Suse.

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: At what cost?

        Yes, this kind of thing is nothing new. By using special drivers when running in the VM, the kernel just avoids some of the silly inefficiencies that communicating via simulated i/o devices causes. There is no downside. Similar techniques are used when you run Linux in a Linux KVM virtual machine, or VMWare.

      2. tullio

        Re: At what cost?

        I used to run OpenSUSE Leap 42.3 on my two Linux hosts running BOINC. I found an invitation to update one and found I had installed Tumbleweed, a development version which would not run BOINC. I went back on the other box and found that the new stable version was Leap 15.0. I installed it on my HP laptop and BOINC works. Any relationship to SLES 15.0?

  5. Steve Aubrey
    Joke

    New emoticon?

    I just can't keep up with all the new emoticons coming down the pike these days. In what I thought was a perfect place for a smiley, I found this "R-in-a-circle" thingie:

    "the newest and shiniest Azure toys may not be immediately available. Purists may well prefer things that way. ®"

    What is this world coming to?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SUSE Linux

    Out in the cold, slowly fading away. I feel sad thinking of those people keeping up the good work on this distribution with no future in site and no meaningful purpose for their work. SLES will end up being digested somewhere in the bowels of MS's beasty clouds. Something tells me Red Hat would not even bother celebrating.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Terminator

      Re: SUSE Linux

      > SLES will end up being digested somewhere in the bowels of MS's beasty clouds ..

      SuSE Linux being the only one that comes with a Microsoft covenant-not-to-sue. Microsoft also extracting a license fee from Android phone makers. If I was paranoid I would sense something sinister in the force.

  7. W. Anderson

    SuSE demise?!

    As a long time commercial reseller of the venerable SuSE Linux Enterprise edition, I was elated when the ownership reverted back to a non_Microsoft affiliated, controlled or unduly influenced independent entity, and now this reversion to Microsoft cooperation bodes ominous for a SuSe that could and has made significant advances in performances and enterprise sales with SAP, Ericsson and other large European and Asian corporations clientsfor their infrastructure technologies.

    SuSE has also worked extensively with several Openstack based Cloud Computing solutions providers.

    Make no mistake, Microsoft will go to no end, irrespective of time or costs to envelope any significant Linux threat or competition, and co-opting is just one of their bags of worm tricks.

    There are no circumstances that I would deploy Suse Enterprise server tuned for Azure, or any other Microsoft technology, none of which we support or use.

  8. The Average Joe

    SUSE is dead...

    yep, dead I say! every company that has partnered with Satan has had an untimely death.... SUSE was sold from Micro Focus so I could see them digging their own grave.

    I do not believe anything from Microsoft, anything.

    Can Microsoft change it's identity from a nerdy tech company to a cool one that all the kids want to use their products? Can IBM do the same and be as cool as Apple? You cannot buy cool, just ask some of the rich kids from the school days, they ended up in prison and in car accidents. Cool is not purchased it is like charisma...

  9. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    Stop

    Predictions of doom and gloom

    Being not exactly a friend of Microsoft, I still cannot understand those predictions. It is just that SuSE offers a streamlined kernel, giving them an advantage over other distros. I fail to see how that is selling your soul to Microsoft.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Predictions of doom and gloom

      That's one of Microsoft skills. You never see it coming.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Predictions of doom and gloom

      "It is just that SuSE offers a streamlined kernel, giving them an advantage over other distros."

      I abandoned SuSE when they gave in to Anglo-Saxon ignorance and renamed themselves SUSE.

  10. Karlis 1

    Wonder how badly strapped for cash SuSE must be...

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      It's doing just fine. You could have easily found that out. The quarterly and annual reports are public, you know, and SUSE is (still) an independent business unit of MF, so its numbers are separated out from the totals.

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