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Microsoft has signed a deal with Boston based ownCloud Inc. to power the underneath infrastructure of Microsoft’s cloud service OneDrive and Azure Cloud.

“Open source technologies are innovating at an unprecedented rate due to massive scale of collaboration across communities and companies,” said Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, Enterprise and Client Mobility at Microsoft. “We have been increasing open source components within our non differentiating infrastructure. And induction of ownCloud in our cloud infrastructure is a natural path for us.”

This is not the first time Microsoft is baking in open source technologies in its cloud infrastructures. Recently they developed a Linux based switch for their Azure Cloud. This week they announced the arrival of Ubuntu for Windows, to enable developers in running Linux developer tools on Windows.

Commenting on the announcement Frank Karlitschek of ownCloud told me in a telephonic interview, “We are excited about this development and we look forward to working closely with Microsoft. They have been a great partner.”

Kamala Subramaniam, Principal Architect, Azure Networking at Microsoft wrote in a blog post, “Both the cloud and the enterprise depend on high-speed, highly available file sync services for their services. This makes it critical for enterprise customers to be able to control their own destiny by rapidly adding to their infrastructure features they need while keeping out feature changes that increase risk and complexity.ownCloud fills that requirement.”

She continued, “Traditional file sync software is built for several customers with several scenarios and feature requests. Since the ownCloud focuses on feature development based on Microsoft priorities, it has a Lean Stack. The thin software stack focuses on software needed for our Datacenter Networks and strives to fix, test and remediate file sync software bugs faster than the current run rate. The ownCloud is also a Modular Stack as opposed to one monolithic image. The advantages of a lean and modular stack are plenty. It makes validation easier with less probability for hidden, high priority bugs and reduces new feature request time lag.”

When asked about whether any of the integration component that Microsoft is developing in-house a Microsoft spokesperson said that since ownCloud will be used within Microsoft’s own OneDrive and Azure infrastructure, they won’t be releasing the source code. However, if in future OneDrive client is integrated with ownCloud client then due to GNU GPL, they will open source OneDrive.

Under the deal the existing ownCloud enterprise customers will be able to migrate to OneDrive that will be powered by ownCloud. At the same time existing OneDrive customers will also be able to move to ownCloud Enterprise edition and manage their subscription through Microsoft.

Microsoft is expected to complete the transition to ownCloud by the end of 2016.

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  • Rachel Wang

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