In a move that caused more than a few eyes to bulge and jaws to drop, last July Microsoft announced it was contributing code to the Linux community with hopes of having it included in the Linux tree. The Redmond giant produced approximately 20,000 lines of device driver code in order to provide what it called "enlightenment" for Linux guest operating systems operating within a Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization environment. These Linux Integration Services, as they are called, are now part of the Linux kernel as of 2.6.32.
Microsoft is back, and evidently so are my idioms to help describe what is happening. Lightning has once again struck the same place, pigs are again flying, and someone has turned up the air conditioning once more to give a snowball a fighting chance way down below.
As part of Microsoft's "continuing efforts" to support Linux and the Linux community, Microsoft is announcing an update to its Linux Integration Services for Hyper-V (a 2.1 beta version), which will provide additional enhancements or enlightenment for Linux guest operating systems. Without this code, Linux guests will still operate, but without the higher performance that is really required to be considered useful.
In addition to the existing networking, storage, and fastpath boot features already provided with the previous version of Linux Integration Services, the beta 2.1 release adds the following new functionality:
- SMP support for Linux workloads -- Linux virtual machines running on Hyper-V will no longer be restricted to operating with a single virtual CPU. Linux virtual machines will now be able to use up to four virtual CPUs, paving the way to run larger workloads than previously possible because of CPU restrictions.