This week at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), Microsoft (MSFT) announced two new partners that will help the company steer its Azure infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering toward being more open.

The addition of Packer.io and OpenNebula builds on other recent partnerships between Microsoft and open source technology companies. As noted in an Azure blog post, the partnerships announced at OSCON will enable Azure customers to manage applications and services across different technology providers.

Packer is a tool for creating identical machine images for multiple platforms from a single source configuration, whereas OpenNebula provides cloud and data virtual infrastructure management for enterprises.

According to Jean Paoli, president of Microsoft Open Technologies, "These partnerships complement a diverse set of open source solutions recently brought to Microsoft technologies including Docker's libswarm project and Kubernetes, two cluster-management solutions available for Docker containers, and several other open source cloud projects."

Paoli noted in a blog post that as an element of the partnerships, Microsoft has introduced a handful of new plugins, including:

  • A Packer plugin that enables developers and IT professionals to launch completely provisioned and configured machines on Windows Server.
  • Support for Packer on Microsoft Azure, although it's not quite ready for prime time yet. This will enable Packer to create a customized virtual machine image that can be saved to Azure blob storage and then launched to Azure infrastructure services.
  • A new set of plugins that enable the use of OpenNebula for building hybrid cloud deployments on Azure. IT professionals and systems integrators can use OpenNebula's rich set of infrastructure management tools to manage cloud deployments across Microsoft's private, public and hosted cloud platforms.

"These two partnerships are part of our overall goal to simplify development and deployment experience, and we are continuing to create other strategic partnerships that will help us deliver open, flexible environments to the developers that need more to be nimble when building for a wide array of cloud scenarios," Paoli wrote.