This October, we were invited by Blaise Vignon, from Microsoft, to an Open Source lab to assist a customer that needed to have a Debian based virtual machine on Windows Azure. Arnaud and Damien went and did all the heavy lifting, and we had images running in a couple of days.
When Pierre Couzy contacted us and told us about the upcoming VM Depot Community Portal for Windows Azure, we reused the knowledge gained during the open source lab to create two custom distributions for Windows Azure: Mageia 3 (beta 1) and Debian Wheezy.
The images are now available on VM Depot.
Please note that the current images are based on Debian Wheezy and Mageia 3, which are still in beta (but should achieve RTM in a few weeks). These images were deliberately kept as lean as possible, and are ready for customization. Should you need a specific configuration or setup, contact us and we will be happy to work with you.
Now why did we do it?
The demand for cloud computing is there, and we had the skills to adapt a Linux distribution to the specifics of cloud computing and we want to make it easy.
Having an image is one thing. Being able to know that a distribution can be supported on the long term on specific platfom is another. And that is part of our mission: to make Debian and Mageia more accessible (and cloud platforms are a great way to get started) but also to propose solutions businesses can rely upon for the long-run.
This was also an opportunity to establish a conversation between actors that traditionally shun each other. Debian and Mageia having specifically a strongly community driven development process, it is more difficult for large enterprises to engage those in relation to vendor driven distributions. We had excellent collaboration with both Microsoft engineers and other community members, while working on a common goal: expanding the reach of developers with Linux.
Many thanks to those who made this possible:
- Gianugo Rabellino for the opportunity to publish these images;
- Stefano Zacchiroli for the creation of the debian-cloud initiative;
- Hideki Yamane and Steve Zarkos for Debian guidance and accepting WALinuxAgent patches;
- Pierre Couzy for the great coordination.