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Red Hat Moves to Expand Server Virtualization Interoperability

Today we made an announcement that I think is going to generate a lot of interest. Red Hat and Microsoft are working together to ensure virtualization interoperability. This is big news. Companies deploy virtualization to make their infrastructure more efficient. By allowing Windows Server to run as a guest on Red Hat virtualization, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux to run as a guest on Windows virtualization, customers gain new level of compatibility, interoperability and support. This is a major step forward for the industry.

Both Microsoft and Red Hat now have the capability to provide complete end-to-end virtualization solutions, from hardware to operating system, on the two industry-leading operating environments, which IDC says represent about 80 percent of today’s virtualized operating systems. This breaks through a major hurdle to more widespread adoption of virtualization.

Of course, it is also big news because it is rare that these two companies publicly work together. The companies continue to compete vigorously. But virtualization interoperability is very high on customers’ wish lists, and I’m pleased both companies have been able to respond in this cooperative fashion.

But for the record, it isn’t the first time Red Hat and Microsoft have cooperated. For example, Microsoft has recently joined the open source AMQP high performance messaging project, of which Red Hat was a founding member. Red Hat customers are already deploying AMQP technology with Red Hat’s Enterprise MRG product. The messaging element (the “M” in MRG) provides messaging up to 100 times faster than some legacy technologies.

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.

To find out more, join our webcast at 11 a.m. Eastern Time on February 16, or check out the recorded version if you miss the live presentation. You can also get information here.