June 9, 2016

Microsoft unveils FreeBSD in Azure marketplace

New update includes an officially supported FreeBSD virtual machine for Azure developers

Microsoft, in its latest updates to the Azure cloud computing platform has announced the inclusion of a virtual machine using its own build of the FreeBSD operating system to help support developers building virtual appliances to run on Azure.

FreeBSD 10.3 will be available as a ready-made virtual machine that can be obtained from the Azure Marketplace directly. However, this contains updates to the open source platform from Microsoft itself to ensure that it can deliver an optimised version for developers to create virtual appliances on Azure.

Jason Anderson, Principal PM Manager for Microsoft’s Open Source Technology centre, on the Azure blog said:

We have done a tremendous amount of work over the past couple of years to make FreeBSD a first-class VM guest on Hyper-V, enabling performant networking and storage capabilities that for the first time made it possible to run production FreeBSD workloads in Hyper-V environments.

As Hyper-V is the virtualisation platform for Azure, this work has enabled FreeBSD VMs to run in Azure, while also allowing Microsoft to declare official support for FreeBSD as a guest on Hyper-V, so that customers can call Microsoft Support if they need any assistance.

Anderson says this is important because many top-tier virtual appliance vendors base their products on FreeBSD, and this has so far meant that developers had to build their own virtual machine image.

For more information, we recommend reading the analysis of this news by v3’s Dan Robinson.

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