Microsoft Azure Brings CoreOS Linux to China


CoreOS Linux, an open source Linux operating system, is now available in China. Microsoft Azure operator 21Vianet has become the first officially supported cloud provider to offer CoreOS Linux in China. Until now, many Chinese organizations have deployed CoreOS Linux internally, on their own.

“As a supporter of Linux and open source, we believe in the importance of working with innovators in open source like CoreOS to enable choice and flexibility for cloud customers,” said Mark Russinovich, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Azure in a press statement. “The combination of CoreOS Linux with the power and scale of Microsoft’s cloud will help to inspire creation of new applications and collaboration across teams around the world,” he said.

With this availability of CoreOS Linux in a new region, both small and large organizations across continents will benefit from running their applications in software containers on a consistent platform globally, said Alex Crawford, head of CoreOS Linux at CoreOS, in an interview with me.

Additionally,  according to Al Gillen, group vice president, enterprise infrastructure at IDC, “With open source infrastructure solutions like CoreOS Linux available in China, Chinese businesses will be able to more easily adopt container infrastructure, while companies outside China can extend a single container platform worldwide and more easily deploy applications in China.”

Microsoft recently announced that it will continue to expand market share in China. According to a China Daily report, Microsoft increased its corporate customer base from 50,000 in 2015 to 65,000 in 2016. That’s impressive growth as Azure was launched in China only two years ago.

This growth is good news for CoreOS Linux. Crawford said, “The entire user base of Microsoft Azure now has CoreOS Linux as a best-practice option for modern, microservices container deployments. That alone constitutes a market primed for expansion.”

Cloud deployments on Azure will expand the community that already exists in China thanks to organizations like Huawei and Goyoo Networks, which today have advanced secure, dynamic CoreOS infrastructure on-premises.

The arrival of CoreOS Linux to China will also spark interest from the developer community. It’s hard for any open source project to track how much contribution is coming from a certain region, but if corporate users are consuming an open source technology locally, the engineers and developers of those companies and customers will start contributing automatically. Such work can trigger the formation of vibrant communities in that region. And that’s what may happen with CoreOS.

“The open source community in China as well as Chinese businesses who want to adopt secure, reliable container infrastructure more easily will benefit from using CoreOS Linux in China. Existing CoreOS Linux users who want to extend their presence to China and run a consistent platform for distributed applications worldwide will also benefit,” said Crawford.

Developers in China can already get started with CoreOS Linux by following the CoreOS Azure Documentation.

“CoreOS believes in bringing innovations in distributed systems and containers via open source software to communities worldwide,” said Brandon Philips, CTO at CoreOS. “Bringing CoreOS Linux to the open source community in China means that secure, automatic updates are at the fingertips of more container users worldwide.”

Core OS Inc. is not stopping at Microsoft Azure. “We will work with selected other providers toward official support on their platforms in the future,” said Crawford.
Core OS Inc. is behind many enterprise open source projects including CoreOS Linux, etcd, rkt, Tectonic, and Quay.