One of the questions which comes up on our internal distribution lists for Hyper-V is “when will such and such and OS be supported on Hyper-V” and the somewhat frustrating response is usually in the form “We’re talking to OS vendors, but we can’t talk about contract negotiations while they are going on. As soon as we can say something we’ll do it in public”. We have to negotiate certification , support and so on. Even saying we’re talking (or not talking) to vendor X my impact what we’re doing with vendor Y. The OS which comes up most often in this context is Red Hat Enterprise Linux, we’ve made some public announcements which are a  step in this direction

Here are key points from Red Hat’s Press Release

  • Red Hat will validate Windows Server guests to be supported on Red Hat Enterprise virtualization technologies.
  • Microsoft will validate Red Hat Enterprise Linux server guests to be supported on Windows Server Hyper-V and Microsoft Hyper-V Server.
  • Once each company completes testing, customers with valid support agreements will receive coordinated technical support for running Windows Server operating system virtualized on Red Hat Enterprise virtualization, and for running Red Hat Enterprise Linux virtualized on Windows Server Hyper-V and Microsoft Hyper-V Server

The last one is important because the it means a customer with an issue can call on vendor and if the problem appears to lie with the other vendor’s product it’s managed as one streamlined incident.  Note that work hasn’t been completed – the above is written in the future tense. According to Mike Neil’s blog post “Microsoft and Red Hat Cooperative Technical Support” we will provide integration components for Red Hat on Hyper-V and Red Hat will provide properly certified drivers for Windows on their Virtualization stack

Microsoft people would prefer customers only used Microsoft products, and Red Hat people would prefer customers only used Red Hat products – we sure aren’t going to stop competing. But the reality is customers use both: and both companies want their customers to have an excellent experience of their respective technologies, which mean we have to cooperate as well . This is coopertiton in action.