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[INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGY] MICROSOFT IS DESIGNING SUPER SLIMS TO RIVAL LINUX IN CLOUD COMPUTING.

TODAY, BIG SILICON Valley names like Google and
Twitter run their online services across thousands
of machines. And to efficiently execute their
software with so much hardware in the mix, they
use the open source Linux operating system and a
technology called “containers.” What they don’t use
is Windows.
Microsoft’s flagship operating system operates quite
differently from Linux—which could be a problem
as containers become the preferred way of
computing in the cloud. But now, as so many others
follow the lead of giants like Google and Twitter,
Microsoft is reshaping Windows so that it doesn’t
get left behind.
In the fall, Microsoft announced that it would add
Linux-like container technology to a future version
of Windows. Today, the company revealed that it’s
also developing a super-slim version of Windows
that will run what it describes as a new kind of
container—one that provides an added level of
security. The OS is called Windows Server Nano.
According to Microsoft spokesman Mike Schutz, the
company is building a way of wrapping containers
in its Hyper-V “virtualization” technology, so that
they’re completely isolated from each other. But the
real news seems to be that Microsoft will offer a
stripped-down operating system along the lines of
CoreOS, a Linux operating system that’s particularly
suited to running containers across a large number
of computers. This kind of operating system
represents the future of online services, which
necessarily run on hundreds or even thousands of
machines—or what industry marketers like to call
the cloud.
The move is yet another example of Microsoft
changing with the times. For many years, the
company tried to push the world towards its way of
thinking. But under new CEO Satya Nadella,
Microsoft is revamping its technologies to suit the
way the world is moving.
Unsuited to the Task
At a San Francisco company called Pivotal, Mike
Kropf helps build large online services, and he says
that today’s Windows is, in many ways, unsuited to
the task. Part of the problem, he says, is that
Windows is such a large operating system that you
need time to deploy it across many machines. In an
age when you can so easily push Linux operating
systems like CoreOS onto a vast array of computer
servers, Windows is behind. Kropf calls Microsoft’s
move to close this gap “interesting.”
It’s also important that Windows Server Nano will
offer containers. Containers provides a way
encapsulating software so that developers and
businesses can more efficiently run applications
across a large number of machines. In essence, you
can readily move these containers from machine to
machine, as well as squeeze many of them onto the
same machine, to take advantage of any unused
computing power.
But the added security Microsoft provides with its
“Hyper-V containers” is something that will appeal
to only some organizations, such as government
agencies that have extreme security requirements.
Some agencies may need a way of tightly securing
individual containers because they’re running
alongside containers from other agencies.
Regulations often require agencies to maintain
complete software separation.
Yes, many organizations now run containers atop
public cloud computing services such as Amazon’s
Elastic Compute Cloud and Microsoft Azure, and that
means they end up sharing computers with each
other. But here, containers run atop virtual
machines, which provide the needed security.
The Hyper-V containers don’t make much sense in
this situation—a situation that represents the
future. But Microsoft must also appeal to a wide
range of businesses, including government
agencies. It must serve a new audience without
losing the old one.

Credits: fossybytes

edited and posted by: @djshyluckjimmy
facebook/instagram: @jimmyadesanya

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