Microsoft Hyper-V gets some partner love

Satya Nadella - President, Server and Tools Business, Microsoft - Structure 2011Microsoft’s (s MSFT) Hyper-V remains an also-ran in the server virtualization race with VMware. (s vmw) But Microsoft, as usual, is building a list of go-to partners for ancillary software and hardware gear to support its option.

NEC America (s NEC) is the latest into the fold, this week announcing Windows Server 8 and Hyper-V support in its ProgrammableFlow Virtual switch. Actual timing is up in the air since no one knows when Windows 8 will ship, but Microsoft released a “developers’ build” of the new server operating system last month at its BUILD conference. Most observers expect the new OS to debut in 2012.

Perhaps of bigger importance to Hyper-V adoption was Cisco’s news (s csco) last week that it’s building Windows 8/Hyper-V support into its NEXUS 1000V virtual switches and VMFex virtual machine fabric extender products.

On the open source front, OpenNebula, citing rapid adoption of Hyper-V, last week said it too will support Microsoft server virtualization in its upcoming OpenNebula distribution. OpenNebula offers a toolkit for building out cloud infrastructure.

Earlier this month,  Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft’s server and tools group, told attendees at the BUILD 2011 Conference that Microsoft must deliver a development and deployment platform to span private and public cloud and that Windows Server Hyper-V is a critical part of  private cloud piece of that puzzle.

VMware helped Microsoft’s cause with licensing miscues around its vSphere5 update and vRAM  this summer that irked customers. VMware subsequently backed down. Microsoft’s elevator pitch to VMware customers is: “Why pay for server virtualization when you get it from us for free with Windows?”

VMware CEO Paul Maritz, a former Microsoft exec, is acutely aware of how that company works, and is pushing VMware far beyond its server virtualization roots into high-end virtualization management and a development platform. Yesterday, VMware CTO Steve Herrod told Mobilize 2011 attendees that VMware wants to embed its mobile hypervisor technology into the core Android operating system kernel from Google (s GOOG).

Image: Pinar Ozger.