It won’t surprise anyone that Linux dominates Microsoft’s Azure cloud. More than 50% (maybe more now) virtual machines on Azure run Linux. Microsoft has been working on different fronts to make it easier for customers to manage their Linux machines on Azure efficiently.

While it’s building developer tools for both Windows 10 and Linux on the desktop to help developers and admins manage their Linux instances on Azure, it’s also working towards enhancing Linux experience and performance.

The oldest Linux vendor SUSE has worked with Microsoft to create a tailored Linux kernel for Azure. “The new Azure-tuned kernel allows those customers to quickly take advantage of new Azure services such as Accelerated Networking with SR-IOV, Write Accelerator and other functionality on a cadence that aligns with the Azure engineering team’s release cycle,” said KY Srinivasan, general manager, Enterprise Open Source Group at Microsoft Corp.

By default, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 instances on Azure will run on this custom-tuned kernel, although customers have the flexibility to easily switch back to the standard kernel using the package manager, Zypper. Customers, running SLES 15 on Azure can now enjoy enhanced performance and faster boot speeds along with a decreased memory footprint.

“Optimized SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Azure public cloud users is a direct result of SUSE’s open, open source approach to solving real-world customer challenges,’ said Gerald Pfeifer, vice president of Products and Technology Programs at SUSE.

SUSE says that customers can expect SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 to have measurable performance benefits, including a potentially 25 percent faster network throughput and a 23 percent reduction in average latency.

In addition to the Azure-tuned kernel, customers using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on Azure benefit from many tools and resources for cloud-native deployments that are part of the SUSE Public Cloud Module, such as the ability to manage Azure resources through a Linux command prompt.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with the Microsoft Azure-tuned kernel is now available in the Azure Marketplace with standard pricing and support.

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