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Hyper-V To Be Integrated in OpenStack

Microsoft recently announced a partnership with to help integrate its commercial  hypervisor into the open source OpenStack project.

OpenStack was founded by hosting services provider Rackspace using code developed by NASA for its Nebula cloud computing platform. The OpenStack project aims to pool open source technologies to establish a standardized and scalable open cloud computing platform. is one of more than 30 companies that have joined the OpenStack effort and it will contribute the code for the Hyper-V integration back to OpenStack.

Under the deal, Microsoft will provide "architectural and technical guidance to" for integrating the Hyper-V hypervisor in OpenStack. The idea is that Hyper-V, which is part of Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 R2 product, will allow organizations to tap Windows-based technologies as well Linux-based ones. provides an open source cloud solution that can be used for both public and private cloud efforts.

The deal is part of Microsoft's general push into enabling interoperability with open source solutions, which the company highlights here. Microsoft also has a lab project devoted to testing interoperability with non-Microsoft products. In the case of OpenStack, that platform had not previously supported proprietary technologies such as Hyper-V.

"The Hyper-V addition provides enterprise customers running a mix of Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies greater flexibility when using OpenStack," stated Ted MacLean, general manager of Microsoft's Open Solutions Group, in a Microsoft-produced interview. "Until today, OpenStack only supported several open source virtualization products."

Microsoft has never been friendly to open source software, particularly with regard to patent claims. Lately, Microsoft has making the headlines for suing mobile device makers over patents allegedly violated by the Linux-based Android mobile operating system. However, Microsoft has tended to draw the line on preserving interoperability options for companies using open source-based servers.

The best-known example of Microsoft enabling interoperability with open source software is probably Microsoft's ongoing partnership with Novell on Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise operating system. That deal initially generated controversy, but the controversy became accelerated when a Microsoft official later claimed that Linux violated 235 of Microsoft's patents. Part of the SuSE Linux partnership is assuring indemnity, or "intellectual property peace of mind," for companies using SuSE Linux Enterprise.

Microsoft issued an "interoperability pledge" in February of 2008 that likely resulted from past legal skirmishes with other software companies trying to get their products to run on Windows. The pledge opens up Microsoft's documentation and APIs to potential software competitors to help enable interoperability.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.