Microsoft and Novell Deliver Joint Virtualization Solution Through Partners

September 10, 2008

Supported by Dell and other channel partners, solution includes SUSE Linux Enterprise Server running as optimized guest on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V.

REDMOND, Wash., and WALTHAM, Mass.

Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc. are announcing the availability of a joint virtualization solution optimized for customers running mixed-source environments. The joint offering includes SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server from Novell® configured and tested as an optimized guest operating system running on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, and is fully supported by both companies’ channel partners, including Dell Inc., which will test and validate this offering at the Microsoft and Novell joint Interoperability Lab in Cambridge, Mass. The offering provides customers with the first complete, fully supported and optimized virtualization solution to span Windows and Linux* environments.

The new offering represents significant progress in the Microsoft-Novell collaboration and business model first announced in November 2006, which delivers seamless integration of SUSE Linux Enterprise and Microsoft Windows, providing a bridge between proprietary software and open source software. The virtualization solution is the first to include technology developed by both companies at their joint Interoperability Lab, including virtual machine adapters built to optimize SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as an optimized, or often referred to as enlightened, guest operating system on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, providing optimized performance to SUSE Linux guests.

"The collaboration between Microsoft and Novell has been built by our desire to meet our customers’ and partners’ IT needs, and to deliver solutions that support customers’ mixed-source environments," said Bob Kelly, corporate vice president of infrastructure server marketing within the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. "For customers standardizing on Microsoft’s hypervisor who also have a mixed-source IT environment, this virtualization solution gives that choice. For channel partners who need a cross-platform hypervisor offering, our work with Novell gives them an easy starting point."

The new offering represents more than 18 months of technical collaboration undertaken between Microsoft and Novell in response to customer demand for a virtualization solution that provides high performance and ease of deployment, and is tested and supported. The joint solution is fully supported by Microsoft, Novell and participating channel partners, including Computer Integrated Services Company of New York LLC (CIS), Continental Resources Inc., Dell, Insight, Total Tec Systems Inc., and 21Vianet. Dell is the only major systems vendor to participate in the program and will provide updates on its Web site — — that references the validation conducted on Dell PowerEdge server blades and rack-mounted systems.

"Virtualization radically simplifies IT, providing greater flexibility and helping our customers focus their resources on innovation instead of maintenance," said Rick Becker, vice president of Software and Solutions, Dell Product Group. "By supporting this new solution from Microsoft and Novell, we can provide our customers running mixed Linux and Windows environments with an optimized solution that is quick and simple to deploy."

"We’re very pleased to be offering this new virtualization solution with Microsoft and our channel partners, which demonstrates the success of our ongoing technical and business relationship and the unique, high-value solutions we can deliver for our customers," said Roger Levy, general manager and senior vice president, Open Platform Solutions, Novell. "Together, we offer our customers dramatic cost savings and greatly enhance overall business agility, allowing them to leverage SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as the best virtualized guest for those who are using Hyper-V. Novell has worked closely with Microsoft on virtualization solutions, and was a charter member of its Server Virtualization Validation Program, with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server a fully supported and validated operating system on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V."

"The availability of this virtualization solution from Novell and Microsoft further proves that the two companies can and are continuing to deliver on the promises of their collaboration," said Janet Waxman, vice president for Hardware Channels and Alliances at IDC. "This offering is a net win for the channel partners who now can offer their customers a fully supported and optimized virtualization solution for mixed Windows and Linux environments."

The original November 2006 Microsoft-Novell agreement included four areas of technical collaboration: virtualization, standards-based systems management, identity federation and document format compatibility. Since then, the companies have announced three other areas of collaboration: Moonlight, accessibility and a new SUSE Linux Enterprise Server management pack for Microsoft System Center product. With the new Linux Enterprise Server management pack, Microsoft System Center customers can manage Windows and Linux environments, both physical and virtual, from one common tool. Novell is also a charter member of Microsoft’s Server Virtualization Validation Program, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is a validated operating system in the program.

More information about the Microsoft and Novell agreement can be found at

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers the best engineered, most interoperable Linux platform and a portfolio of integrated IT management software that helps customers around the world reduce cost, complexity and risk. With our infrastructure software and ecosystem of partnerships, Novell harmoniously integrates mixed IT environments, allowing people and technology to work as one. For more information, visit

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Novell and SUSE are registered trademarks of Novell Inc. in the U.S. and other countries.

* Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.