Microsoft and Red Hat sign virtualization pact

Microsoft and Red Hat sign virtualization pact

Summary: Microsoft and Red Hat have signed a deal to insure that their respective server operating systems will run on each other's hypervisors.


Microsoft and Red Hat have signed a deal to insure that their respective server operating systems will run on each other's hypervisors.

The deal, announced on February 16, has two components, according to a posting to Microsoft's Port 25 open-source blog. Red Hat has joined Microsoft's Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) and Microsoft has become a Red Hat partner for virtualization interoperability and support. According to Microsoft's Open Source Community Manager Peter Galli, Microsoft also will be added to the Red Hat Hardware Certification list once the Red Hat certification process is completed later this year.

To be clear, the newly minted Microsoft-Red Hat partnership is not the same as the Microsoft-Novell one that Microsoft unveiled two years ago. There is no patent-protection clause that is part of the new Microsoft-Red Hat agreement, meaning Red Hat has not agreed to license any Microsoft patents in the name of guaranteeing its customers that Microsoft won't sue them for possible patent infringement. No support certificates for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) will be sold by Microsoft, either.

As Galli explains on the Port 25 blog:

"(T)his agreement with Red Hat is specific to joint technical support for our mutual customers using server virtualization. So, in that regard, think of it as one dimensional, whereas Microsoft's partnership with Novell is multi-dimensional."

Red Hat was already part of the Microsoft-backed Interoperability Vendor Alliance -- a group of software and hardware vendors committed to improving interoperability with Microsoft systems on behalf of customers.

Update: Burton Group analyst Richard Jones notes one limitation of today's deal is Microsoft products are not certified as guests on Red Hat's Xen:

"But don’t go out and jump on this bandwagon just yet.  As of the announcement, the only support you will have is RHEL 5.2 and 5.3 on Windows 2008 Hyper-V.  You won’t have Microsoft products as guests on RHEL Xen.  This is because Red Hat is submitting its upcoming kernel virtual machine (KVM) based hypervisor product to the SVVP program; expecting certification later this year near the same time that Red Hat makes its KVM based hypervisor product commercially available.  Red Hat is not planning to submit its Xen based RHEL 5 product to the SVVP program. "

What's your take on the new Microsoft-Red Hat deal? Will it provide IT managers and customers with any additional peace of mind -- or have any other effects (intended or unintended) -- in your view?

Topics: Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Open Source, Virtualization


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Sounds fair

    Each side is equally capable of screwing the other side over. That's as fair as you can get these days.
    Michael Kelly
    • That was funny

      "Fair Business: When each side is equally capable of screwing the other side over"

      With or without your permission, I'm gonna print your comment, frame it and hang it in our company's lunch room. Thanks!
  • This should be good for IT managers.

    I like how Peter Galli described it as a one dimensional deal. I think it would be better for everyone if Microsoft made more of these "one dimensional deals". What the announcement doesn't say is what the negotiations were like. I doubt that Microsoft approached Red Hat with a deal like the one they finalized with them. I can imagine Microsoft tried to use it's weight to twist Red Hat's arm a little. If that is the case and it is as straight forward as it seems, then Red Hat didn't bend.
    • Nice ABM spin there....

      Take an announcement that should be heralded as positive and with absolutely ZERO knowledge of the inner workings of the negotiations, you "can imagine Microsoft tried to use it's weight to twist Red Hat's arm a little." I think that speaks volumes.
      • Trust Microsoft

        At your own peril.
  • It would be nice if...

    ...some MS software ran on other platforms.
  • RE: Microsoft and Red Hat sign virtualization pact

    The only good outcome of this will be for those shops that are still around using linux can have an easy way to transition to Microsoft Windows Server. They can take their current outdated linux servers, turn them into a virtual machine running on the Windows platform until its no longer needed. Then get rid of the VM and just run everything off the Windows Server. Still, Microsoft has signed a deal with the devil.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Ah, Lovey, Lovey, Lovey (sigh)

      If anyone ever accuses you of being inconsistent, you can feel free to subpoena me to testify on your behalf. ]:) (Written by an NBMer).
      • Thanks! (NT)

        Loverock Davidson
      • I value consistency.

        That's why I use Linux. And that's why I can count on Loverock. (What's an ock lover?)
    • "First they ignore you,...

      ...then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

      If Red Hat has risen to the status of "devil" on even Rock-head's chart, it's at least at Stage 3, and possibly on the edge of Stage 4.
      Henrik Moller
      • Keep repeating that....

        Good that you acknowledge that Microsoft is winning this fight.
        Loverock Davidson
    • you got your actores crossed

      Red Hat just gave M$ a little oxygen to avoid going into the bailout line.
      M$ should have given them and OSS full patent protection in return, but those greedy bastards gave nothing!
      Linux Geek
      • Give Red Hat patent protection?

        If they accepted Red Hat would have officially sanctioned Microsoft's shakedown of corporate Linux users.
        • Please don't feed him

          Trolls are chubby enough as it is, you don't want him getting stuck under the bridge or something. :)
          John Zern
    • question

      I have a question for the Microsoft supporters out there.

      When Loverock makes a post like this, are you happy, or embarrased?
      • B.

        Definitely B.
    • a question to Loverock

      Loverock, I have a question for you.

      You seem like a reasonably intelligent and well-informed person. That being the case, you surely are aware that Linux is doing pretty well in servers (that is why, for instance, Red Hat's revenues and profits keep going up). And you know that everyone who reads zdnet blogs knows it too.

      That being the case, why do you write as if linux is being destroyed by Windows in the server area when you know it isn't true, and furthermore you know that everyone who reads you knows it too? Don't you realize it makes you look rather bad?

    • Are you really Baghdad Bob in disguise?

      Dateline: April 7, 2003

      Baghdad Information Minister quoted as saying "There are no American troops in Baghdad" and "The Americans are committing suicide by the hundreds at the city's gates" . . . when in fact the American tanks were patrolling the streets only a few hundred meters from the location where the press conference was held.

      Basic Logic
      • Ha! I remember Baghdad Bob

        Sad to admit, but he did provide some comic relief to the war.