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January 19, 2017

Microsoft adds Intel backed Clear Linux to Azure public cloud

Support for the openSUSE Linux distribution was also recently added.

By James Nunns

Microsoft’s plans to embrace the open source community, and more specifically Linux, has moved forward another step with the company adding support for the Clear Linux distribution.

The Intel-backed distribution is to have support added for instances in Microsoft’s Azure public cloud platform, and will be available in three versions.

The first version will be a stripped-down, simple virtual machine that is designed for maximum customizability. The second, a Docker based container runtime, and the third option is a “sample solution image” that’s designed for machine learning applications.

The move by Microsoft is another in a long list of Linux distributions to have become available on the Azure cloud offering. Recently the company added openSUSE, while other options available include: Debian, Oracle Linux, Red Hat Enterprise, SUSE Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu, CentOS and CoreOS.

openSUSEClear Linux, which is backed by and is the brainchild of Intel, is designed to be a lightweight Linux distribution that works for both server and cloud use.

Intel’s positioning of the Linux distribution has seen it put towards being a building block for containerised applications and the cloud. Some of its features include a workload scheduler and components such as system and stateless operation.

Jose Miguel Parrella, Product Manager, Open Source, Microsoft, wrote on the Azure blog: “The availability of Clear Linux in Azure Marketplace adds more open source options to the portfolio of teams and organizations that are looking to accelerate business value and increase agility in the cloud, and it’s a testament to our continued focus on great experiences for Linux users in the hybrid cloud.”

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One of the most alluring parts of the Clear Linux distribution is its stateless capabilities.

Parella said: “By separating the system defaults and distribution best practices from the user configuration, Clear Linux simplifies maintenance and deployment which becomes very important as infrastructure scales.”

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