by Peter Galli on August 10, 2009 07:00pm

Jason Perlow, a columnist over at ZDNet, has written a comprehensive review on virtualizing free Linux distributions in Windows Server 2008 R2.

In his Tech Broiler column, Perlow notes that the updated Hyper-V bare-metal hypervisor virtualization layer in Microsoft's upcoming Windows Server 2008 R2, which is due to be released August 14th to MSDN and Technet customers, now has support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3.

"Additionally, Linux support and performance has greatly improved over the initial Hyper-V release. Microsoft also recently released its Hyper-V Linux Integration Components (Linux ICs) under the GPLv2 Open Source License," Perlow says.

The Linux ICs for Hyper-V, which are in Release Candidate status, provide synthetic device drivers that enhance I/O and networking performance when Linux OSes are virtualized under Hyper-V.

"The source code for the Linux IC's were accepted into the Linux Driver Project and should become part of the Linux Kernel within two subsequent releases and code merges - 2.6.32 is expected to be when they will be integrated, and all Linux distributions using that kernel code base going forward should be Hyper-V enabled out of the box. Yes, you heard that correctly, Microsoft is now an official Linux Kernel contributor," Perlow says.

You can read the rest of Perlow's column here.