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Microsoft holds peace talks after Hyper-V booted from OpenStack

Keen to get 'dead wood' hypervisor back on Linux clouds

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Microsoft is in talks for its Windows hypervisor to be readmitted to the Linux-for-the-cloud project OpenStack.

Rackspace, one of the prime movers behind OpenStack, said the cloud team is working with Redmond after Hyper-V was removed from the project's code because nobody was maintaining or updating it. Microsoft's software, branded "dead wood", was kicked out for the upcoming release of OpenStack called Essex at the start of this month.

Mark Collier, OpenStack founder and vice-president of business development and marketing at Rackspace, told The Reg: "We have spoken to them [Microsoft], they are interested."

He called the booting of Hyper-V as "more a bump in the road than an internal decision to move away from it".

He said: "I think over the long run you will see a number of different hypervisors including Hyper-V. This was an unexpected bump in the road rather than a U-turn. They have approached us and asked if could we put our heads together and come up with a plan. We are more than happy to help anybody make their technology part of OpenStack."

Jonathan Bryce, OpenStack project chairman and chief technology officer and founder of the Rackspace Cloud, echoed Collier's words in conversation with The Reg, saying Microsoft asked for their input.

"It was a situation where we all worked together quickly in the beginning to get it in," he said of how Microsoft's work with OpenStack had started. "It's something that happens in software."

Microsoft joined the OpenStack project in October 2011 and had worked with cloud startup Cloud.com to integrate Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V with the OpenStack code. Unfortunately for Microsoft, Cloud.com was bought by Citrix Systems and the tiny startup's people redeployed to work on the OpenStack Citrix cloud.

There had been talk by OpenStackers in January of removing the Hyper-V code and Microsoft at the time issued a statement saying it remained committed to OpenStack.

Asked by Microsoft to comment after the removal, Redmond stuck to its original statement, giving nothing new away. "Microsoft is committed to working with the community to resolve the current issues with Hyper-V and OpenStack," a Microsoft spokesperson told us for this article.

Hyper-V is Microsoft's virtualisation engine for Windows Server 2008 R2 and it would help sales of Windows – and prevent losses to Linux – if Hyper-V could be tuned to smoothly deploy, manage and run OpenStack systems. And Microsoft has worked with other open-source projects on Windows elsewhere to tackle deployment, performance and management. ®

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