Microsoft Joins OpenStack to Add Hyper-V Support

Yesterday, OpenStack became wholly available; today — in what could be considered a very big deal — Microsoft (s MSFT) has joined the effort. Well, indirectly, at least.

According to the official announcement, Microsoft will provide technical guidance and assistance to startup to add Hyper-V support to its CloudStack offering. Once completed, will “develop the code to support OpenStack on Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V” and add it to the OpenStack code repository.

Microsoft Hyper-V support is huge for both and OpenStack because Hyper-V adoption is rising fast. In the fourth quarter of 2009, for example, IDC estimated that Hyper-V licenses rose by 215 percent, compared with 19 percent for VMware ESX (s vmw). Increasingly, it appears that cloud-computing software providers wanting to lure customers will need to support Hyper-V. is riding a momentum wave after its big private-cloud installation at Korean telco KT, and Hyper-V support will only help.

For OpenStack, Hyper-V support could make an even bigger impact. Web hosts and MSPs have been driving spending on cloud software as they seek to upgrade their offerings, and they’re starting to realize that their VMware-only hypervisor offerings won’t cut it for much longer. A free, open-source, MSP-proven platform that supports Hyper-V, as well as XenServer and KVM, should be appealing.

On a personal note, I wrote in July (subscription required) that OpenStack will face an uphill battle to gain real traction, and I stand by that proposition. If anything, the competition has gotten stronger since then, especially with the introductions of VMware vCloud Datacenter and vCenter Director. However, OpenStack has been evolving furiously, and it looks stronger with each iteration.

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