Why and How to Use Linux Integration Services

First published on CloudBlogs on Apr, 25 2014

Regular readers of Linux Pro Magazine saw a really interesting article in the January 2014 issue about how to accelerate Linux VM’s with the Linux Integration Services (LIS) native to Hyper-V.

Microsoft’s work with Linux has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, and it’s a topic I covered during the 2012 R2 Series in a post about the breakthroughs we’ve made that enable open source software on Windows Server, System Center, and Windows Azure.

This article from Linux Pro underscores just how hugely important LIS is to Microsoft. No one here in Redmond is ignorant of the fact that the enterprise world is heterogeneous – but that doesn’t mean you want to run two completely different hypervisor infrastructures, or even two different private clouds. That approach is not just redundant and expensive, but it also means splitting up workloads in ways that just create more work.

With LIS you get Linux support without the hassle of maintaining separate hardware running KVM or VMware ESX – and this means you can consolidate onto a single hypervisor for everything .

Our Linux support is the result of a lot of quality customer feedback that (in so many words) put it like this, “Yes, Windows Server may run on about 75% of the world’s enterprise servers, but Linux is still an important part of this ecosystem. If you want to meet all our needs, your products need to run and manage Linux just like Windows.”

A great example of this process in action is the work we’ve done with the organization responsible for administering the IT needs of several major departments in the British government – detailed here .

The Linux Pro article (and, apologies for the link to a paywall) also does a great job of looking at the gritty details of how LIS drivers interact with Hyper-V, and how an IT admin can set up LIS to get optimum results from running Linux on Hyper-V.

One final note: The article misses a few updates we’ve made, notably the availability of LIS version 3.5 (which supports Red Hat, CentOS 5.5, and 5.6). These updates were based on great feedback from our customers who want to run older distro versions.  Other updates include our support for Red Hat/CentOS 5.9, 5.10, and 6.5.

Linux may change quickly, but we have no problem keeping up and keeping IT Pros in the game.