OpenInfra Foundation Welcomes Microsoft as Newest Member to Advance Open Infrastructure Use Cases, Hybrid Cloud and 5G, Using Open Source Technologies OpenStack and Airship

By Jonathan Bryce on 07/09/2021

OpenInfra Foundationhas signed an agreement with Microsoft as the newest Platinum Member. With this multi-year commitment, the OpenInfra community will work closely with Microsoft to advance open infrastructure use cases including hybrid cloud and 5G through participation in and contribution to several open source project communities. 

In a presentation to the OpenInfra Board of Directors, Ryan van Wyk, Partner Software Engineering Manager for Azure for Operators at Microsoft, said the multi-year commitment to support the OpenInfra Foundation is Microsoft’s latest move to support a vibrant and diverse ecosystem of open source projects and communities. Through Microsoft’s membership, van Wyk said the company will:

  • represent the interests of its telecom customers in the OpenStack and broader OpenInfra community,
  • actively contribute to several OpenInfra projects, and
  • look for opportunities to integrate OpenInfra projects into Microsoft Azure product roadmap as it evolves. 

Microsoft joins over 60 organizations that are members of the Foundation, advancing the mission of building open source communities who write software that runs in production. They join Platinum members Ant Group, Ericsson, Facebook, FiberHome, Huawei, Red Hat, Tencent and Wind River to define the future of open source powered infrastructure. With the support of over 110,000 individuals in 187 countries, the OpenInfra Foundation hosts open source projects and communities of practice, including infrastructure for AI, container native apps, edge computing and datacenter clouds. Its projects include AirshipKata ContainersOpenInfra LabsOpenStackStarlingX, and Zuul. Most recently, the OpenInfra Foundation has begun supporting the Magma 5G project.

Microsoft Engagement with the OpenInfra Community

Microsoft will continue collaborating with the OpenInfra community around network cloud requirements and driving the adoption of cloud technology for core network workloads. 

Deploying 5G Services at Scale with Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Earlier this year, Microsoft and AT&T announced the migration of AT&T’s 5G mobile network to the Microsoft cloud. Azure for Operators will help operators across the world deliver highly reliable, cost-effective and secure 5G services to consumer and enterprise customers using both Azure and open source technologies like Airship. Azure for Operators will also meet customers where they are today by supporting OpenStack deployed on Kubernetes, and allowing for a controlled evolution of Operator SDN deployments from VNFs to CNFs.

Hybrid Cloud Synergy Between Azure and OpenStack

The forthcoming 2021 OpenStack User Survey, which will be available later this month on Superuser Magazine, reveals that 40% of OpenStack users running their deployment in a multi-cloud configuration are doing so with Microsoft Azure. This strong synergy between ecosystems is an indicator of the technical and market connections that already exist between the two organizations.

 Microsoft joins an impressive group of companies as a Platinum Member of the new OpenInfra Foundation, including Ant Group, Ericsson, Facebook, FiberHome, Huawei, Red Hat, Tencent, and Wind River, all of whom bring their expertise operating infrastructure at scale to the community writing open source software for the next decade of OpenInfra,” said Mark Collier, COO of the OpenInfra Foundation. “Software like OpenStack, which now powers 9 of the top 10 telecom networks in the world, Kata Containers which secures the world’s largest payment network, and Airship which powers the AT&T 4G and 5G networks in production today.” 

“Microsoft is joining this effort to support building the next decade of open infrastructure technology because hybrid cloud is an important element of our technology portfolio,” said  van Wyk.  “We believe in a variety of clouds: public and private, from hyperscale to edge, each tuned to the unique workloads that our customers need to deliver and we can’t do it without open source. We are here at the OpenInfra Foundation to participate in the community and work together to build and integrate open source technologies to deliver carrier-grade Microsoft Azure for Operators infrastructure.