Feeds

Microsoft buddies up with open source rival - true

Moment of Xen or weakness?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft's tolerance for Linux expanded today via an alliance with open source server virtualization backer XenSource.

Microsoft has pledged to let "Xen-enabled" Linux guest operating systems run on top of the virtualization software that will ship with "Longhorn" Server and to provide technical support for the guest OSes. The agreement to support Linux guests in partnership with XenSource builds on Microsoft's decision in April to provide technical support for Linux running on its own Virtual Server partitioning product. The deal also tightens the bond between Microsoft and XenSource, as the two vendors look to gain market share against clear server virtualization leader VMware.

It's nothing short of heart-warming to see how much VMware bothers Microsoft.

The software giant first bought Connectix, believing that Virtual PC and Virtual Server would let it challenge VMware. That plan hasn't worked out so well. Microsoft this year decided to give away its virtualization products for free and, as mentioned, has gone so far as to embrace Linux in order to keep up with VMware and customers.

Starting with Longhorn Server, Microsoft plans to scrap its current Virtual Server attack and release hypervisor technology that should boost the performance of its server virtualization products and bring it closer to rival products from VMware and XenSource. Microsoft today said it expects Longhorn Server to ship at the end of 2007 and for the new hypervisor - code-named Viridian - to ship "within 180 days" of the server software. So, happy waiting.

In the meantime, XenSource looks to keep going after Windows customers. The company has released a version of Xen fit for Windows boxes and, unlike VMware, has a license for Microsoft's Virtual Hard Disk format. The end result of the licensing deal is that customers can shift virtual operating system images from Virtual Server over to Xen.

Why would Microsoft be so friendly with XenSource and Linux?

Well, there's no way it can truly compete well in the server virtualization market until that update to Longhorn Server ships. Microsoft appears ready to promote XenSource in the interim if that means trouble for VMware.

Microsoft SVP Bob Muglia put it another way. "Microsoft’s commitment to customers is to build bridges across the industry with solutions that are interoperable by design. Our work with XenSource, a recognized leader in open source virtualization technology, reflects that commitment and Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to bring virtualization solutions to the mainstream and help customers progress toward self-managing dynamic systems.”

Microsoft's plan to bundle its next-generation hypervisor with Windows Server at no charge has caught the eye of many curious server industry watchers. Perhaps a Linux embrace will remove some of those familiar bundling feelings that have caused so much trouble in the past. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.