Saturday, September 10, 2011

Microsoft Forms Cloud Partnership with Chinese Linux Vendor


Microsoft Forms Cloud Partnership with Chinese Linux Vendor

The deal with China Standard Software Co., which is designed around cloud computing, involves a technical collaboration on Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization technology.

Microsoft formalized its alliance with Linux server provider China Standard Software Co. Ltd. (CS2C) this week, with an interoperability and legal agreement designed to promote cloud computing in mixed environments.

The goal of the partnership, which is centered around CS2C's NeoKylin Linux Server, according to Microsoft, is to "jointly develop, market and sell solutions for the booming cloud-computing market in China."

The agreement, which was formalized in Beijing on Monday, involves technical collaboration on Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization technology, plus the signing of a "mutually beneficial customer covenant agreement." The deal follows Microsoft's renewal of its interoperability agreement with Attachmate's SUSE, in which Microsoft promises not to sue Linux users for perceived IP violations as part of a licensing and interoperability deal for customers with mixed environments.

However, an attempt to clarify whether the CS2C agreement offers similar protections by veteran Microsoft watcher Mary-Jo Foley received no response from Microsoft, which described that part of the deal as "confidential." Foley did confirm that the CS2C "Hyper-V Open Cloud" agreement, is part of the Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track partner program. Under that program, partners build "certified" private clouds using Microsoft-stack technologies and their own technologies. Microsoft's current partners on that program include Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, NEC, and NetApp with Cisco.

The agreement with CS2C will include interoperability certification of the NeoKylin operating system running on Windows Server 2008 R2 using Hyper-V. In addition, System Center management packs will be created for the NeoKylin OS.

It's unclear exactly what software will be used as CS2C sells cloud products in China under this deal. According to descriptions of the Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track program, the software stack used can vary. Microsoft's reference architecture white paper for the program is fairly general, except that Hyper-V is included.

Some other software that may be prescribed by Microsoft under the Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track program are Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager and Operations Manager, as well as Microsoft SQL Server, according to this Microsoft blog summarizing the architectural requirements. However, Microsoft's announcement provided no such details in the case of the CS2C deal.