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Ubuntu on Azure: Microsoft makes big decision on big data

John Zannos

on 28 September 2015

Tags: azure

This article was last updated 7 years ago.

Azure HDInsight continues to validate Ubuntu’s cloud leadership

Microsoft has selected Ubuntu for their first Linux-based Azure offering. The company announced today that their Hadoop-based big data service offering, HDInsight, will run on Ubuntu and Hortonworks. Microsoft and Canonical are committed to meeting customer needs as industry moves to adopt analytics and cloud architectures for scale and performance. Over the last year Microsoft has been an active proponent of open source software technologies, and we at Canonical are delighted to be Microsoft’s Linux of choice in Azure and now HDInsight. Ubuntu has been the cloud operating system leader for several years, the industry standard choice for scale-out operations and workloads. We are pleased to support the growth of Linux on the Azure cloud, too. Today, more than 20 percent of virtual machines on Azure are Linux and VM Depot has more than 1,000 Linux images. The vast majority of these images are Ubuntu. In a Microsoft blog, T.K. Ranga Rengarajan of Microsoft notes, “The general availability of Azure HDInsight on Ubuntu Linux, which includes a service level agreement guarantee of 99.9% uptime and full technical support for the entire stack with the choice of running Hadoop workloads on Hortonworks Data Platform in Azure HDInsight using Ubuntu or Windows. There’s also a growing  ecosystem of ISV’s delivering tools to create big data solutions on the Azure data platform with HDInsight.” Microsoft is talking about uptime, scale and reliability – all things that make Ubuntu great in the cloud. Since Microsoft, Hortonworks and Canonical announced Azure HDInsight on Ubuntu as a public preview at Strata + Hadoop World we’ve seen customer and partner adoption accelerate. Organizations have embraced HDInsight on Ubuntu because it makes it easier to move from their on-premises Hadoop deployments to the cloud. HDInsight also brings together customers running Hortonworks Data Platform on premise, in their own datacentres. A key goal for both companies is to enable hybrid cloud computing – allowing for the choice of on-premise or on-cloud computing for enterprise customers, with large-scale deployments that span both private infrastructure and public infrastructure. Ubuntu is a key part of that strategy. There are more big data solutions on Ubuntu than any other platform. All of this means minimal effort for Ubuntu customers to run their existing on-premise analytics workloads on Azure HDInsight. Customers appreciate choice. Every substantial institution will use both Windows and Linux and wants the flexibility to choose the right platform for the workload. Having that choice in platform is very important to the marketplace. The collaboration between Microsoft and Canonical to create the option to run Azure HDInsight workloads on Ubuntu  or Windows gives Azure customers flexibility in their big data processing decisions, both on premise, and in the cloud. For more on Ubuntu Big Data solutions, visit: For more on Microsoft’s open source and open cloud initiatives, visit

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