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mrb 639 days ago | link | parent

"Microsoft has replaced P2P Skype supernodes with thousands of Linux boxes" from http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/05/skype-replaces-p2p-s...

Wow. Does it make it the first, large scale, internal(¹) deployment of non-Windows infrastructure by Microsoft? The question is: why? Do their engineers managed to convince the company that Windows is ill-suited to the task? I am quite stupefied.

(¹) "Internal" as opposed to situations where Microsoft inherited non-Windows infrastructure from external acquisitions, such as when they acquired Hotmail in 1997 and their 5000 FreeBSD servers (eventually migrated to Windows.)



eli 639 days ago | link

Do their engineers managed to convince the company that Windows is ill-suited to the task?

They acquired skype. So the question would be, Is it worth rewriting a ton of working code just so we can say it runs on our platform.

I'm pretty sure Hotmail ran Linux or BSD for quite a while after Microsoft bought them (though probably not any more)

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mrb 639 days ago | link

But no code needed to be rewritten. Skype supernodes were working on Windows before (on Windows machines in the P2P network.) Microsoft effectively stopped supporting Windows!

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rbanffy 639 days ago | link

IIRC, there was a failed attempt to move it to Windows NT 4.

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untog 639 days ago | link

Hotmail ran on Linux for a very long time.

Skype may yet transition to Windows servers, but MS are hardly going to insist they make it their first and only priority. That would be insane.

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rdl 639 days ago | link

I think you mean FreeBSD.

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bifrost 639 days ago | link

Hotmail never ran on Linux, it was all FreeBSD.

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untog 639 days ago | link

I think rdl made that point well when he posted 4 hours before you did. You are both correct- my memory was faulty. But the main point about Hotmail running on a non-MS OS still stands.

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hamidpalo 639 days ago | link

Windows Server powers Messenger and the upcoming notification service, which do exactly the same thing as Skype: messaging and video.

Moving an entire service to a different OS isn't quite that simple, so the simplest thing was to just add capacity using whatever was running at the moment.

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Tyrannosaurs 639 days ago | link

I was under the impression that they've used Linux in the past effectively as a firewall for their internet sites. Whether this was a temporary response to a specific situation or a semi-permanent thing I don't know but I recall reading that there was a period where Microsoft.com was returning non-Windows header information.

While they obviously don't publicise it I think they've probably used Linux where it's appropriate for some time now.

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ch0wn 639 days ago | link

If I remember correctly this was done by Akamai and not directly by themselves, while this time the nodes are effectively under Microsoft's control.

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TazeTSchnitzel 639 days ago | link

Heck, MS contributed to the Linux kernel so it could be virtualised well.

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bifrost 639 days ago | link

MSFT used Linux for DNS servers for a while, its unclear why they did that since they had so many other FreeBSD acquisitions anyways. Some loadbalancers returned BSD/Linux fingerprints when scanned, but its unlikely that MSFT actually used Linux in the direct path anywhere.

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