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Microsoft and Novell Roll Out Virtualized Linux Solution

As part of their interoperability partnership, both companies verified running Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Server as a guest OS on Windows and Hyper-V.

Microsoft and Novell, as part of their general interoperability partnership, have verified running Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Server as a guest operating system on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. The companies announced yesterday that their channel partners will support the combined technologies.

Participating channel partners include "Computer Integrated Services Company of New York LLC (CIS), Continental Resources Inc., Dell, Insight, Total Tec Systems Inc., and 21Vianet," according to a Microsoft-Novell jointly released announcement.

Dell plans to test and validate the virtualization offering at an Interoperability Lab in Cambridge, Mass. that is jointly operated by Microsoft and Novell. The lab runs Novell's open source Linux and Microsoft Windows solutions, mimicking heterogeneous environments found in the enterprise. The lab specifically tests in four specific areas: document format compatibility, identity federation, systems management and virtualization.

Microsoft and Novell recently added to the lab's tasks. Accessibility will be tested. The companies are also testing Moonlight, an open source UNIX version of Microsoft's Silverlight Web application product. The last new item to be tested is "a new SuSE Linux Enterprise Server management pack for Microsoft System Center product," according to the announcement.

Virtualization technology -- in this case enabled by Microsoft's Hyper-V solution -- is generally supposed to be platform agnostic, enabling operating systems and applications to run on different platforms. Microsoft and Novell's collaboration ratchets up the assurance, especially for companies adding open source Linux.

The virtualization offering represents "the first complete, fully supported and optimized virtualization solution to span Windows and Linux environments," according to the Microsoft-Novell announcement.

The two companies first announced their collaboration in November of 2006. Under the deal, Microsoft issues certificates assuring Novell's integration support. Microsoft expects to pour an additional $100 million into the program by November.

Microsoft's collaboration with Novell is also associated with intellectual property assurances. Those assurances are highly controversial in the open source Linux world. Microsoft essentially promises not to sue companies for patent violations when they buy Novell's Linux through Microsoft's certificate program.

About the Author

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

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