Microsoft has built Linux-Based Operating System - Azure Cloud Switch

Microsoft has built its own Linux-based operating system called Azure Cloud Switch (ACS). Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft is more open than it has ever been before.
Kamala Subramaniam, Principal Architect, Azure Networking, on Thursday wrote in a blog post that Microsoft has built Azure Cloud Switch (ACS), a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking. This will power network components such as switches. She wrote "The Azure Cloud Switch (ACS) is our foray into building our own software for running network devices like switches. It is a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on Linux. ACS allows us to debug, fix, and test software bugs much faster. It also allows us the flexibility to scale down the software and develop features that are required for our datacenter and our networking needs."

ACS also allows us to share the same software stack across hardware from multiple switch vendors. This is done via the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) specification, the first open-standard C API for programming network switching ASICs, of the Open Compute Project (OCP). Microsoft was a founding member of the SAI effort and remains a leading contributor to the project as we view SAI as an instrumental piece to make the ACS a success.

"We're talking about ACS publicly as we believe this approach of disaggregating the switch software from the switch hardware will continue to be a growing trend in the networking industry and we would like to contribute our insights and experiences of this journey starting here," she added.

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