Enterprise Linux Log

Sep 16 2008   6:45PM GMT

Red Hat stonewalls on Microsoft interoperability plans

Don Rosenburg Profile: Dkr

Novell Inc.’s recent coup of achieving bidirectional virtualization with Microsoft’s Hyper-V — SUSE Linux Enterprise can run as a guest on Hyper-V and Hyper-V on SUSE — is a huge step forward for interoperability.

Novell’s accomplishment begs for a response from Raleigh, N.C.-based Red Hat Inc., the largest open source vendor, which, publicly at least, has remained totally aloof from Microsoft, which, like it or not, has an overwhelming share of the server market.

So what’s Red Hat’s reaction? Is it going to use the Linux Integration Components that Novell and Microsoft created to boost performance between Linux and Microsoft virtualization platforms? These drivers and accessories are freely downloadable from Microsoft’s website.

What about cross-platform certification? Is Red Hat going to pursue certification through the Microsoft Server Virtualization Validation Platform to optimize Windows’ performance as a guest on Red Hat Enterprise Linux?

Finally, what are the implications for interoperability of Red Hat’s focus on the KVM hypervisor while the rest of the computing world (except for Ubuntu) is centered on Xen? Although Red Hat has pledged support for Xen until at least 2014, the thrust of its development efforts will be on KVM. And what happens after 2013? These are reasonable questions to ask of the leading open source vendor. Yet these questions went totally unanswered from mid-afternoon last Thursday until the following Monday morning. The answer: There would be no response. Total stonewalling.

According to a recent ZDNet article, Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s president of products and technologies, told a London press conference that Microsoft’s Hyper-V is targeting VMware. But that’s not the issue! The issue is: Is Red Hat going to become a Linux-only solution or is it going to reach some sort of accommodation with Microsoft?

I would really like to see Red Hat continue to thrive and gain market share on the giant from Redmond, Wash. Kick butt, even. So I hope that the reason for Red Hat’s evasion is not because Red Hat’s avoiding the interoperability issue but because Red Hat is in negotiations with Microsoft and can’t say anything until they’ve reached an agreement.

Only time will tell.

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