Customers that are using Linux and Windows Server in the same environment can also turn to a free resource from Microsoft designed to enhance the performance of the open source operating system when used together with the Redmond company’s hypervisor role. Best Practices for Running Linux on Hyper-V is a whitepaper offered free through the Microsoft Download Center, set up to highlight virtualization benefits associated with Linux on Hyper-V. At the same time, customers with heterogeneous environments can leverage the best practices described in the whitepaper in order to boost the performance of Linux when used as a guest operating system on a Hyper-V host.

“Most data centers use a variety of applications and operating systems. If you use both Linux and Windows operating systems, you can use Hyper-V to take advantage of the benefits of virtualization across your data center,” an excerpt from the whitepaper reads. “Hyper-V, the Microsoft hypervisor-based server virtualization platform, provides virtualization capabilities through the Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system infrastructure. Hyper-V lets you efficiently run multiple operating systems in parallel on a single server and fully capitalize on the power of x64 computing.” More »

It was approximately two years ago that Microsoft announced that customers running System Center would be able to leverage automated management across mixed source environments. It was at the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) 2008 that Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft, revealed UNIX and Linux support in System Center.

Fast-forward a couple of years, and it appears that customers are asking about the Redmond company’s plans to support future releases of UNIX and Linux as they will be released, according to Robert Hearn, Sr. program manager Customer & Partner Community System Center Cross Platform & Interoperability.

“The cross platform integrations currently support the following operating systems: AIX 5.3 (Power), 6.1 (Power); HP-UX 11iv2 (PA-RISC and IA64), and 11iv3 (PA-RISC and IA64); Red Hat Enterprise Server 4 (x64 and x86) and 5 (x64 and x86); Solaris 8 (SPARC), 9 (SPARC), and 10 (SPARC and x86 versions later than 120012-14); and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 (x86), 10.1 (x86 and x64) and 11,” Hearn noted. More »

With the landmark alliance inked with Novell in 2006, Microsoft stepped up its game of supporting customers with heterogeneous environments in which Windows and Linux were running side by side. The Microsoft and Novell Windows and Linux interoperability and support broad collaboration agreement covered Windows Server and SUSE Linux, but since them the Redmond company has also worked to support Red Hat customers.

The Linux Integration Components for Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V R2 are designed to provide a collection of drivers designed to enable synthetic device support in Linux OS virtual machines running under the software giant’s hypervisor role in Windows Server 2008 R2.

“We are excited to announce the availability of Linux integration components for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4) which provides synthetic network and storage drivers enabling RHEL to work with the optimized devices provided by Hyper-V.

We’ve already submitted these drivers to the upstream Linux kernel in July 2009, and are looking forward to these being integrated with a future version of RHEL,” revealed Mike Sterling, Hyper-V program manager, Microsoft.

According to Sterling, Hyper-V customers that rely on virtual machines with open source platforms from both Novell and Red Hat will be able to enjoy the same level of performance for Red Hat Enterprise Linux guests, as for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The Integration Components need to be installed on the virtualized copy of Linux running in Hyper-V. More »

Even though with the advent of Windows Vista the open source community saw the ripe moment for Linux to strengthen its grip over consumer PCs, the fact of the matter is that Windows still holds a firm grip over the vast majority of desktops worldwide. And there is no change visible on the horizon, especially as the two largest vendors of Linux operating systems have no plans to go against Microsoft. Neither Novell nor Red Hat feel that Linux has sufficient driving force behind it in order to go against Windows, which until Windows 7 will largely be represented by Windows XP Service Pack 3 and Windows Vista SP1.

Novell President and CEO Ronald Hovsepian, revealed to InformationWorld that SUSE Linux will fail to become popular until Windows 7, and even beyond. The immediate reason for this is the slow pace at which the Linux consumer market is growing. “The market for the desktop for the next three to five years is mainly enterprise-related,” Hovsepian explained. As a direct consequence, Novell is focusing the bulk of its efforts on winning over corporate desktops and technology enthusiasts. More »