Red Hat Enters Virtualization Support Agreement with Microsoft

Feb 17, 2009

U.S. Linux vendor Red Hat has entered a cooperation agreement with Microsoft in technical support of server virtualization.

Customers running Windows Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux virtualization now have joint technical support from the two companies. Red Hat has committed to participate in Microsoft's Server Virtualization Validation Program. Reciprocally, Microsoft has joined Red Hat's Virtualization Certification Program and will be listed on the Red Hat Certification List once Microsoft completes the certification process.

The newly formed partners emphasize that the arrangement is in no way like Microsoft's partnering with Novell. The Microsoft-Novell deal goes much deeper and involves technical collaboration, licensing and patent protection.

For Microsoft, Red Hat still remains a competing platform provider despite the support arrangement. In fact, Microsoft's GM of virtualization Mike Neil emphasizes that "these agreements do not include any patent or other IP licensing rights." Both companies also assure customers that their cooperation has no effect on their previous agreements with virtualization specialist VMware.

As a first step, the two companies will enter each other's validation phases, results of which will be posted to their respective websites during the course of the year, for Red Hat and Microsoft.

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