For the last few years, Microsoft has stated during event keynotes and in other places that Linux is a rapidly growing operating system (OS) being used within Microsoft Azure. They had proudly stated that 50% of new VMs running in Azure were running Linux. (This is the latest stat I remember Microsoft saying publicly a while back already.) Well, I came across an interesting infographic recently (thanks to Adir Ron) that gives some statistics and other information regarding the percentage and overall usage of the Linux OS in Microsoft Azure.

Based on the past growth of Linux adoption in Microsoft Azure, I’ve long suspected that Microsoft Azure hosts more Linux VMs than Windows VMs. This infographic looks to shed some light on this most likely being true, as it states “More than 50% of VM cores runs Linux on Azure”.

Before you look at the infographic itself, here are a few stats listed in it that I’d like to point out:

  • More than 50% of VM cores runs Linux on Azure
  • Linux-based images comprise 60% of Azure Marketplace images
  • Top 100 Microsoft customers deploy Linux workloads on Azure
  • Azure Tuned Kernels provide 25% faster network throughput
  • Microsoft supports all major Linux distros, like: Red Hat, SUSE, Ubuntu, Oracle Linux, Debian, CentOS, CoreOS, and OpenSUSE (Related: Azure also supports FreeBSD)
  • Azure offers two natively supported managed Kubernetes orchestration services: Azure Kubernetes Service, and Azure Red Hat OpenShift

Here’s the “Did you know? Linux is the fastest growing platform on Azure” infographic below:

Linux is Most Used OS in Microsoft Azure - over 50 percent of VM cores 1

Happy running Linux in Azure!

P.S. If you’re looking to save money hosting VMs in Microsoft Azure (both Windows and Linux), you should read my article showing you how to properly shutdown Azure VMs to save money!

Microsoft MVP

Chris Pietschmann is a Microsoft MVP, HashiCorp Ambassador, and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) with 20+ years of experience designing and building Cloud & Enterprise systems. He has worked with companies of all sizes from startups to large enterprises. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.
HashiCorp Ambassador Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect