Microsoft seeks agility in DevOps and open source

What do you do when your company is used to monopolizing virtually everything it touches, and then one day you wake up to find that the world has evolved and shifted, and suddenly your role in it has been greatly reduced? It’s tough for a large enterprise like Microsoft to break free from its own self-imposed shackles or bureaucracy and history, and reinvent itself to remain relevant in a new and changing era–but Microsoft is striving to do just that.

I wrote a post about how Microsoft is embracing DevOps and open source to become more agile:

Microsoft is a massive company—a behemoth with a lot of inertia, and a lot of bureaucracy in place that make it difficult to adapt quickly. Under Satya Nadella, however, Microsoft is striving to re-invent itself, and—to the extent that it is possible—become more agile. For evidence of Microsoft’s new philosophy, look at how Microsoft is aggressively embracing concepts like open source and DevOps that used to be viewed as pariahs.

I wrote recently about the partnership between microsoft and docker. Microsoft added support for Docker containers in the Azure cloud platform within Linux virtual machines earlier this year, but then it upped the ante by announcing that it will support Docker natively in the next version of Windows Server, and that it is working closely with Docker on an open source project to drive development of the Windows engine for Docker.

“An important aspect of this announcement is the noticeable speed we are observing Microsoft move to implement open source technologies,” explained Al Gillen, an analyst with IDC, in a report about the relationship between Microsoft and Docker. “The company appears to be determined not to be left behind as the velocity of open source developer technologies accelerates. The company appears to be willing to integrate competing technologies, or technologies from competing ecosystems at a faster pace and with less hesitation.”

Docker isn’t the only piece of the puzzle, either. Earlier this year microsoft joined forces with chef and puppet labs, and integrated both of those popular DevOps platforms into Azure as well. Incorporating Chef and Puppet Labs gives IT admins more flexibility to deploy, configure, automate, and manage VMs in Azure.

What the new philosophy really represents is a realization. Nadella’s Microsoft sees the writing on the wall, and understands that it’s a new world. Technologies have changed, and the way companies and individuals use technology has changed, and the days of dominating the tech universe as a virtual monopoly are gone. The two choices facing Microsoft were to either stubbornly cling to its former glory and die a slow, painful death, or adapt and embrace change in order to remain relevant, and continue to play a vital role. Thankfully, it seems Microsoft has chosen the latter path.

Read the complete post at Microsoft determined not to get left behind by DevOps.

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