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Packer and OpenNebula Join Microsoft's Azure Cloud

Microsoft Azure, the IT figurehead's own cloud platform, is known as a versatile, comprehensive and user-friendly solution within the available cloud options of today. In a move to add even more options and configurability, Microsoft has recently started offering Azure-based support to some of their external partners. Not only does this increase the scalability and accessibility of Azure's cloud services, but it also paves the way for both third-party and open source software integration within today's most popular cloud frameworks.

While this trend has been ongoing in recent months, the latest announcement, which integrates support for Packer and OpenNebula technologies, has already commanded a lot of attention around the industry. Although they're not necessarily breaking any new ground by adding support for Packer and OpenNebula, the announcement is undoubtedly beneficial to all parties involved. In fact, it's already making waves amongst system administrators and IT professionals around the globe.

Doug Mahugh with Microsoft Open Technologies spoke candidly about the need for non-Microsoft technology within Azure. He was quoted in a recent interview as saying: "There are a wide variety of platforms and technologies that developers and IT managers like to use. We're just trying to assure that regardless of your choice, it will work well on Azure." Mahugh continued by saying: "Some telecommunications companies and service providers are already pretty invested in OpenNebula to run virtual data centers. We want those people to see Azure as a good fit for setting up more virtual data centers."

What Is Packer?

Packer is a user-friendly automation tool that is frequently utilized by IT administrators to manage their virtual machinery. Since it was previously compatibly with Amazon EC2, DigitalOcean, VirtualBox and VMWare only, the announcement is very well-received by fans and current users of Packer. Packer itself is also compatible with Puppet and Chef; two tools that strengthen virtual machine management even further. Packer can even create and configure identical, cross-platform copies of a virtual machine's image that will function on both Windows and Linux, for example.

OpenNebula

OpenNebula, on the other hand, has already established itself as a popular cloud management service. Meant specifically to accommodate enterprise-level infrastructure, OpenNebula is easily integrated into existed or brand new network architectures. Moreover, the fact that OpenNebula is an open source technology means that is constantly being analyzed, revised and updated by developers as well as community members.

Industry Reactions

Other figureheads within the IT industry have also begun to introduce support for third-party and open source technology. Google recently provided backing for the new Docker container technology, even going so far as to offer up some of their own Docker management tools for public consumption. When industry giants like Microsoft and Google begin to embrace open source technology to complement their own cloud services, everyone should take note.

For more information, consumers can visit Microsoft Open Technologies at www.msopentech.com, where you can find details on all of the team's non-Microsoft projects. Additional information can be found at Packer's own site, www.packer.io, or OpenNebula's website at www.opennebula.org.

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