Microsoft's Linux deal is foray into China's cloud

Microsoft has announced a new deal with China Standard Software Co. Ltd.

The new interoperability and legal agreement with CS2C was inked Aug. 23 as part of a Linux server partnership deal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Microsoft's announcement indicated that the goal is to "jointly develop, market and sell solutions for the booming cloud-computing market in China." CS2C sells Linux-based server and desktop operating system products in China.

Microsoft's partnership with the company is associated with CS2C's NeoKylin Linux Server.

The deal involves a technical collaboration on Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization technology plus the signing of a "mutually beneficial customer covenant agreement." The covenant agreement sounds like the sort of indemnity program that Microsoft recently renewed with Attachmate's SUSE, where Microsoft promises not to sue Linux users for violating Microsoft's intellectual property as part of a licensing and interoperability deal for customers with mixed Windows Server and Linux Server environments.

However, an attempt to clarify that basic detail by veteran Microsoft watcher Mary-Jo Foley received no response from Microsoft, which described that part of the deal as "confidential." Foley's article did confirm that this deal, which is described as a "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.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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