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Microsoft Extends Interop Support for Red Hat Linux on Hyper-V

Red Hat Linux operating systems running on Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor now have continued interoperability support, Microsoft announced on Wednesday.

Microsoft has extended its technical collaboration with Red Hat to Linux virtual machines (VMs) running on Hyper-V. According to Gianugo Rabellino, senior director of open source communities at Microsoft and an open source ambassador of sorts for the company, the hypervisor now supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 and CentOS 6.0 guest OSes.

Rabellino announced the news at the 2011 OSCON Conference taking place in Portland, Ore.

This extended collaboration with Red Hat doesn't break new ground. Microsoft previously offered such hypervisor support for version 5 Red Hat Linux OSes, and the CentOS support was announced in May. CentOS is typically used by hosted service providers.

Microsoft also on Wednesday rolled out a download of new Linux integration components for Hyper-V. Linux Integration Services Version 3.1 for Hyper-V can be downloaded here.

These components are "a set of drivers that enable synthetic device support in supported Linux virtual machines under Hyper-V," according to Microsoft's description. The components add symmetric multiprocessing support, allowing the use of up to four virtual processors per VM. In addition, the components allow Linux VMs to be shut down via Hyper-V Manager or System Center Virtual Machine Manager using a "shut down" command.

With regard to the use of Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and the new Linux integration components, Microsoft offered one big caveat: It's possible for the Virtual Machine Manager Service to crash using the new Linux Integration Services Version 3.1 components, according to a Microsoft blog. Microsoft has issued a Knowledge Base article describing the problem, which notes that the problem is associated with "virtual machine guests running Red Hat 6.0, Red Hat 6.1 and CentOS 6.0." Microsoft expects to issue a fix with a future release of its integration components.

Also this week, Microsoft announced a continued interoperability and intellectual property licensing deal for Windows and SuSE Linux Enterprise. The new $100 million deal was struck with SUSE, a business unit of The Attachmate Group Inc., which acquired Novell Inc. in April. This deal continues the somewhat controversial arrangement originally devised between Microsoft and Novell in 2006.

SUSE agreed to Linux intellectual property indemnification in its deal with Microsoft. In contrast, Red Hat's collaboration with Microsoft is purely technical.

While controversy rages over Microsoft's patent claims regarding Linux, its interoperability efforts are continuing apace. Rabellino argued at OSCON for greater cloud openness and said that Microsoft is looking to improve its cloud support for "open source languages and runtimes," according to this Microsoft blog post. That support is illustrated by a new software development kit for PHP on Windows Azure, plus support for the PHP_CodeSniffer tool, according to Rabellino.

A ZDNet article noted that Rabellino coined the terms "open surface" and "open core" in his OSCON talk. He suggested that the lines between working with open source and proprietary software are blurring, according to the article.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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