Posted by Alfonso Castro
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft Open Solutions Group

Most customers we speak with today operate heterogeneous IT environments and just want everything to work well together – whether they need to optimize existing investments or are interested in adopting new technologies along the way. One of Microsoft’s ongoing goals is to ensure that our technologies can meet these evolving customer needs whatever their platform preference.

We’ve been fortunate to work side-by-side with SUSE – a 20-year veteran in this space – to make this goal a reality, delivering unified solutions, integrated tools, and first-class support for mixed Windows and Linux environments.

Since 2006, the Microsoft-SUSE alliance has helped more than 900 customers benefit from joint efforts to improve interoperability and support between Windows and Linux. We extended this agreement through 2016 and remain committed to working in tandem on solutions that help our customers manage critical workloads in mixed-source environments.

We recently caught up with Christoph Thiel, project manager at SUSE Engineering, to learn more about the long-standing connection between SUSE and Microsoft and how the relationship has evolved.

 “Back in 2006, I think some were surprised to see us collaborate, especially within the open source community,” Thiel said. “But over time, we’ve definitely proven that it was the right decision and it has helped to improve interoperability across many projects. Everyone benefits from this.”

Extending from this longstanding alliance, we continue to work together on cross-platform solutions that support interoperability from the datacenter to the cloud. In the public cloud, our mutual customers can now run official SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and openSUSE images using Windows Azure Virtual Machines. SUSE customers can easily bring their own customized images or select from pre-built images to gain application mobility between the cloud and on-premises.  

“Our customers expect us to run perfectly – on-premises and in the cloud,” says Thiel. “So it was natural for us to work with Microsoft to ensure that our openSUSE and SLES distributions run great on Windows Azure Virtual Machines, just like the great experience on Windows Server Hyper-V.”

We’re looking forward to what’s on the horizon with SUSE, including the full release of the beta management pack for Systems Center that allows customers to manage both Linux and Windows environments simultaneously.

For more on what’s next, as well as how our mutual customers like National Stock Exchange and Baloise Group are benefiting from Microsoft and SUSE solutions, see the below video interview with Michael Miller, VP of Global Alliances and Marketing at SUSE.