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Red Hat Linux: Now with Microsoft's Hyper-V drive

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Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux 5.9 has landed with some cloudy love from Microsoft.

The latest version of the Linux distro, released Tuesday, introduces drivers for Microsoft’s closed-source Hyper-V hypervisor rival to VMware’s vSphere.

The inclusion of Microsoft’s drivers means improved interoperability and manageability for RHEL 5.9 when running as a guest on top of Windows Servers using Hyper-V.

Microsoft’s drivers made their debut in the RHEL 5.9 beta in September last year.

The idea is it helps customers running mixed Windows and Linux server platforms and doesn’t penalize customers by forcing them to build or customize their own tools to administer and manage Linux as a Hyper-V guest.

The driver arrival is the latest milestone in the rapprochement between Microsoft and open source on the server and is an acceptance that both must work together or risk hurting customers - or losing them to the other side.

There’s added pressure on Microsoft which risks losing VM customers to VMware. Red Hat, meanwhile - once the darling of the data center - is seeing growing pressure from Ubuntu as the operating system of choice for running Linux-based clouds.

VMs and operating systems are strategic platform choices and once lost, customers are unlikely to return when it comes to scaling out or for new business.

Other features in RHEL 5.9 include the ability to develop and test OpenJDK 7, SystemTap improvements including compile-server and client support for IPv6 networks, smaller SystemTap files and faster compiles. Application support has also been boosted with faster and more reliable rsyslog packages and Samba 3.6. ®

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