Microsoft's virtualization team is taking a close look at OpenStack -- the open source cloud computing platform promoted by Rackspace and NASA. In fact, sources say Microsoft Hyper-V will likely gain some integrations with OpenStack, with an official announcement potentially surfacing in late 2010. Here are the preliminary details, only from The VAR Guy.

The VAR Guy

October 6, 2010

2 Min Read
Microsoft and Rackspace: Hyper-V Meets OpenStack (Soon)

openstack_compute

Microsoft’s virtualization team is taking a close look at OpenStack — the open source cloud computing platform promoted by Rackspace and NASA. In fact, sources say Microsoft Hyper-V will likely gain some integrations with OpenStack, with an official announcement potentially surfacing in late 2010. Here are the preliminary details, only from The VAR Guy.

OpenStack, as you may recall, is an open source cloud computing platform initially promoted by Rackspace and NASA. First announced in July 2010, several major service providers are now contributing to the OpenStack effort. In theory, OpenStack will allow channel partners and customers to avoid cloud lock-in. Assuming numerous service providers embrace OpenStack, partners will be able to easily migrate their customers from one cloud to the next.

With that portability goal in mind, OpenStack is striving to be hypervisor agnostic. OpenStack work involving open source hypervisors Xen and KVM (kernel-based virtual machine) is under way. Next up could be Microsoft’s Hyper-V, according to multiple sources in the know.

In fact, there are strong indications Microsoft will make an announcement involving Hyper-V and OpenStack later this year, perhaps in November, the sources add.

Logical Move

If Microsoft moves forward with OpenStack, the move is easily explained: The Microsoft effort would potentially allow customers and service providers to deploy OpenStack clouds on top of Windows Server running Hyper-V virtualized environments.

Ignoring OpenStack doesn’t appear to be an option for Microsoft. On the one hand, Rackspace recently introduced Windows Server support in the Rackspace cloud, and initial demand has been strong, according to two sources. But here’s the challenge: Ubuntu — Canonical’s Linux distribution — is the most popular operating system within Rackspace’s cloud, Rackspace has publicly stated.

Ubuntu had a head start in the Rackspace cloud, plus it doesn’t suffer from potentially complex user licensing terms that Windows and even Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) sometimes trigger.

Microsoft is no stranger to the open source cloud. In recent months, Microsoft has lined up numerous open source ISVs — companies like SugarCRM — to offer their applications in the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud. Now, Microsoft’s Hyper-V team appears ready to jump into the OpenStack open source cloud project.

Rackspace declined to comment for this blog post. Microsoft did not reply to The VAR Guy’s inquiries in time to meet our resident blogger’s always aggressive deadline.

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