Monday, November 16, 2015

Windows Support for OpenSSH

I'll admit, I've been a Microsoft detractor for several years now. When I worked at MSNBC (at Microsoft) I was one of the only folks who didn't use Windows outside of work. To me Microsoft was a non-starter because of it's stance (at the time) on both Open Source software and Open Standards.

While Microsoft has A LONG way to go on supporting Open Standards (like CalDav and CardDav in Exchange/Outlook or POSIX at the system level) within their products, they have done a complete 180 with regards to their stance on Open Source software. Open Sourcing .NET was a huge accomplishment but years too late in my opinion. Most of the exciting development that's happening these days is happening on or in support of mobile. Java and Objective-C have taken the reigns there. Because it's much cheaper to run a Linux server than a Windows server in the Cloud coupled with the fact that .NET was only available on Linux through Mono which didn't support all the .NET APIs, Microsoft in the Cloud has not been a major player. .NET not being Open Source until the last year means that it's going to have to fight a giant uphill battle to complete with Java, PHP, Ruby, and Node.

What I am excited about though is the recent announcement that Microsoft has contributed back code that makes OpenSSH a first class citizen on Windows. OpenSSH is the defacto standard for remote management and the fact that you will be able to ssh from a *nix box to Windows will make it easier to integrate Windows into a Cloud based solution that is managed via code (like Chef, Puppet, etc) without having to prep a system image before hand with the Infrastructure as Code tools.

I went into great detail in my #ChefConf 2014 presentation on the legwork you had to do just to be able to bootstrap a Windows server. I'm glad to see Microsoft committed to changing that.

This is a step in the correct direction for Microsoft and one that I applaud!

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