Microsoft has assembled quite a team over the last years whose sole mission is to participate in an ongoing conversation with the Linux, Open Source and Microsoft communities about interoperability. While I was in Seattle for our annual internal training event a few of us got to go and meet Hank Janssen from the Microsoft Open Source Labs, who took us on a tour of the lab and talked about what they do.
The lab provides a number of resources to Microsoft internally (they have an incredible library of various Linux VM images) as well as externally to the Linux, Open Source and Microsoft community. What sort of resources?
- IT Pro and Developer focused blogs
- Download center with links to Microsoft Open Source projects
- Download center with links to community created Open Source projects
On top of those resources they also help the Open Source community with R&D, testing and development of technologies that are cross platform, enhance interoperability and provide support for getting their projects running on the Microsoft platform. They have a rack of Dell R900 servers (16 core, 32GB of RAM) that are available for testing. They have 340 different Linux distributions at their disposal ready to deploy as well!
While this is some serious horsepower they also have some serious iron in the form on an IBM P Series as well! You don’t see these very often (it might be the roughly 1/2 million dollar price tag) but coming from an IBM hardware background it was cool to see.
All in all it is quite an impressive set up, and it was great to hang out in there and hear the hum of servers and cooling systems.
Since we were heading to the Open Source labs, it was only right to take along Joey’s stuffed Gnu and let him (or is it her?) take a run though the server room, get some exercise and meet up with old friends!
Be sure to check out http://port25.technet.com to learn more about what is going on in these labs. I have a recording that I will edit into a podcast when I get back so stay tuned for more!