Canonical, the company behind popular Linux distro Ubuntu yesterday announced the expansion of their partnership with Microsoft. They are releasing a new Ubuntu kernel optimised for Azure which they built in partnership with Microsoft. This new kernel will offer the following features:
- Infiniband and RDMA capability for Azure HPC to deliver optimized performance of compute intensive workloads on Azure A8, A9, H-series, and NC24r.
- Full support for Accelerated Networking in Azure. Direct access to the PCI device provides gains in overall network performance offering the highest throughput and lowest latency for guests in Azure. Transparent SR-IOV eliminates configuration steps for bonding network devices. SR-IOV for Linux in Azure is in preview but will become generally available later this year.
- NAPI and Receive Segment Coalescing for 10% greater throughput on guests not using SR-IOV.
- 18% reduction in kernel size.
- Hyper-V socket capability — a socket-based host/guest communication method that does not require a network.
- The very latest Hyper-V device drivers and feature support available.
Ubuntu is the most popular choice for Linux instances on Microsoft Azure. From now on, all Ubuntu Cloud Images for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on Azure have been enabled with this new Azure tailored Ubuntu kernel by default. Also, this Azure tailored Ubuntu kernel will get the same level of support and security maintenance as all supported Ubuntu kernels for the duration of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS support life.