Is Red Hat threatening to do a Novell with latest virtualisation move?

Just seen a release come in from Red Hat promising to play nicely with Microsoft over their competing virtualisation approaches.It smacks slightly of the kind of release you'd expect from the Novell/MS tie-up but it's unlikely that Red Hat would go that far - not without losing a chunk of its management, customers and support base.

Just seen a release come in from Red Hat promising to play nicely with Microsoft over their competing virtualisation approaches.

It smacks slightly of the kind of release you'd expect from the Novell/MS tie-up but it's unlikely that Red Hat would go that far - not without losing a chunk of its management, customers and support base.

More likely this is more a case of my enemy's enemy is my friend with both software makers looking to unseat VMWare from its perch atop the virtualisation tree.

Here's an excerpt from the Red Hat release:

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that, in response to strong customer demand, it has signed reciprocal agreements with Microsoft Corporation to enable increased interoperability for the companies’ virtualisation platforms. Each company will join the other's virtualisation validation/certification program and will provide coordinated technical support for their mutual server virtualisation customers. The reciprocal validations will allow customers to deploy heterogeneous, virtualised Red Hat and Microsoft solutions with confidence.

“The world of IT today is a mixture of virtualised and non-virtualised environments. Red Hat is looking to help our customers extend more rapidly into virtualised environments, including mixed Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Windows Server environments,” said Mike Evans, vice president, Corporate Development at Red Hat. “Red Hat listened when our customers asked us to provide interoperability between our respective guest and host virtualisation solutions. We are excited to announce these agreements today as the result of our collaboration with Microsoft.”

You can find more on Red Hat's blog here: http://www.press.redhat.com/

It seems Red Hat's Scott Crenshaw is quite aware of what some people could read into this announcement:

One of the big questions on the minds of many members of the open source community is whether Red Hat has compromised its ideals. Nothing could be further from the truth. Red Hat’s growth, and its differentiation, come from its belief in and commitment to, the open source community model. It is our view – and this view is institutionalized throughout our company – that we have to serve the community, as well as our customers, shareholders, and employees. The moment we stop doing so, we eliminate the differentiation which drives our growth.

So we undertook this interoperability effort with strict adherence to our principles. The companies signed two agreements: One in which Red Hat joined the Microsoft Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP), which validates Windows Server guests running on Red Hat Enterprise virtualization technologies, and the other which certifies Red Hat Enterprise Linux guests running on Windows Server Hyper-V.

The agreements contain no patent or open source license components. There are no financial clauses beyond simple certification testing fees. These are straightforward certification and validation agreements.

I am excited about this step forward for the industry. And I am pleased we did it without compromising our commitment to open source. That’s leadership we can be proud of.