The past few weeks haven’t been kind to elite infrastructure teams. A couple of weeks ago Salesforce announced the replacement of some of the responsibilities currently held by their well-respected infrastructure group by significantly expanding their relationship with Amazon Web Services.
Now comes word of Microsoft’s acquisition of LInkedIn. In addition to the business synergies that are being widely discussed, over the next few years the infrastructure of the two companies will likely come together as well. While LinkedIn employees have been promised they will operate as “a fully independent entity within Microsoft”, it stands to reason that LinkedIn will eventually be on the Azure platform. As efficient and impressive as LinkedIn’s infrastructure work has been, it is unlikely that they’ll remain independent in that regard for the long haul.
Across all aspects of their technology, LinkedIn has enhanced the level of knowledge through their commitment to open source, releasing and open sourcing their media storage system Ambry just last month. Historically, Microsoft has not been as committed to sharing their technology with the open source community.
With a likely eventual loss of autonomy, and a change in culture, things will be different for everyone at LinkedIn. For LinkedIn’s highly accomplished infrastructure professionals, on a day of a significant wealth-building event, there’s got to be some disappointment as well. The impressive LinkedIn platform is a result of their hard work and innovation, and they’re likely to be drifting in the direction of Azure’s platform over the next few years. It was a good day for LinkedIn technologists financially, but was likely not one that has them excited about their future.