Bonum Certa Men Certa

Novell and Microsoft as Virtualisation Partners, Collecting/Colocating Assets and Companies

Novell and Microsoft working together: where not?

The title, as seen above, might be a case of stating the obvious (with a snag), but it's important enough to show and to explain this, so as to leave no doubt about Novell's risk to virtualisation's status quo. A lot of today's clouds, which thrive in Virtualisation, are built using VMWare and GNU/Linux. Red Hat is an important ingredient in this and deployments typically involve giants like IBM, Amazon and maybe even Google. Needless to say, Microsoft is not happy about it.



“Novell and Citrix are both virtually controlled by Microsoft's will.”There are newer market entrants such as KVM and even Xen. Allow Novell and Microsoft to introduce them to an exclusive club -- a club where companies get acquired for their technologies and then integrated to increase pressure on common 'enemies' like Red Hat and VMWare.

We now have Novell and its very recent acquisitions that cover virtualisation. Then there's Citrix that acquired XenSource and Microsoft, whose virtualisation technology is more of an import (acquisition) than an in-house development project. Novell and Citrix are both virtually controlled by Microsoft's will. Most observers would ignore the connection. All of these seemingly separate efforts, however, are being combined and then directed at common rivals that pose a risk to the Microsoft ecosystem, of which Novell and Citrix are an integral part.

The Microsoft Virtualisation Gang



As we stated very recently, Xen was becoming a bit like the "the Novell of hypervisors", especially after it had sold out to Microsoft's partner Citrix and soon thereafter focused on Windows instead of GNU/Linux. The deal they signed with Microsoft had had some impact before that. The evidence is all over the place, though some choose not to see it.

In the news you now find that a recent Novell acquisition, PlateSpin, sponsors a virtualisation conference. This is fine. Watch this new press release though:

PlateSpin Pledges Extended Support for Citrix XenServer Customers



PlateSpin ULC, a Novell company, today reaffirmed its commitment to support Citrix* XenServer across the PlateSpin product line. XenServer support is a key element of PlateSpin's multiplatform strategy, which aims to offer enterprises a unified suite of solutions for managing heterogeneous data center environments and making physical and virtual infrastructures work as one.


Increasingly, you are likely find collaborations that can be characterised as Novell + Citrix + XenSource + Microsoft (Hyper-V) + PlateSpin, all pitted against VMWare, Red Hat, Ubuntu (KVM), Sun (xVM, VirtualBox), Oracle and server other server virtualisation forces. In a way, Microsoft may be building itself a 'coalition'. It has ignored hypervisors for far too long, so it hopes that scale of combined forces can help it catch up. Remember that Microsoft admitted very clearly a few weeks ago that clouds and services may be the way to go.

"If You're Not With Us, We Won't Play"



Novell loves Microsoft [1, 2]. Microsoft 'punishes' some of SUSE's GNU/Linux rivals. Here we come to revisiting an old problem again. It comes from the news [1,2,3]. (mind our added highlights in red)

Microsoft, using Hyper-V, discriminates against Red Hat et al and requires software patent deals to be signed merely to be no longer disregarded. It's a form of extortion that's used against some of the biggest players in the market. Remember that Microsoft may be planning to invite the antitrust envelope because there's too much to lose without an anti-competitive last resort.

In the links below, Microsoft is still promising what many call an inferior product. it plans pre-bundling as its business (integration) plan. Expect antitrust and dirty tricks.

___ [1] Microsoft Says Hyper-V RC 1 Good to Go

But already there are holes in this proclamation: Hyper-V RC 1 doesn't work with Microsoft's own virtual machine (VM) management software, and the only other guest operating systems it supports in addition to Microsoft's are Novell SUSE Linux, which partners with Microsoft.


[2] Microsoft releases Hyper-V RC1

Hyper-V supports a number of guest operating systems: Windows Server 2003 SP2, Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1, Windows Vista SP1 (x86), and Windows XP SP3 (x86).


[3] Microsoft Moves Closer To Hyper-V Rollout

Microsoft Tuesday unveiled the second release candidate for its long awaited Hyper-V hypervisor, which adds minor tweaks like guest operating system support for Windows 2000 Server and mouse integration tools for Novell SUSE 10 Linux.


Microsoft Novell
Novell (to EU): Microsoft supports Linux.
Microsoft: Yeah, like Novell said, we support Linux. The 'legal' ones.

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