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The real reason Microsoft open sourced .NET

Mary Branscombe | Jan. 28, 2016
DevOps, microservices, and the shift to containers and lightweight computing environments explain a lot about Microsoft’s position on .NET, open source and Nano Server.

These are the usual advantages of well-designed microservices architectures, and Microsoft is trying to give businesses an easy way to use them with Azure Service Fabric. This is a .NET-based microservices platform (running across a cluster of physical or virtual machines) that it started building as Windows Fabric back in 2003. Azure SQL Database was the first service built on it; now Azure Document DB, Event Hubs, Cortana, Intune, Power BI, Skype for Business, the Azure IoT Suite and all the virtual machines in the Azure core infrastructure are built with Service Fabric.

In the future, Service Fabric will also support Linux, Docker or Java. Service Fabric is available on Azure today, and you’ll be able to run it on your own servers (or hosted on other cloud providers), as part of the Azure Stack technical preview (which should be a finished product by the end of 2016).

Companies like Verizon might be ahead of the curve, but for new applications designed to take advantage of cloud technologies, containers, microservices and faster, more nimble development is going to be key. “Everybody is after the same thing,” Microsoft’s Snover says. “They want to be able to develop their apps to be as small and as resource efficient as possible. And associated with small comes agile, secure and fast.”


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