Dell Sets the Stage for Hyper-V's Return to OpenStack

by Pedro Hernandez

Once tech non grata, Microsoft's virtualization platform is making a comeback thanks to Dell.

It's back...

After getting excised in a "hypervsectomy" last year, support for Microsoft's Hyper-V is coming back to OpenStack courtesy of Dell. The PC and server maker announced today that it is working on including support for the Windows Server virtualization technology — "initial functionality" at least — in a forthcoming OpenStack release.

Dell claims that the effort is "the first instance of a leading technology vendor enabling Windows Server Hyper-V hypervisor on OpenStack for private clouds." The IT systems and services provider, which recently reported disappointing first quarter earnings and is currently embroiled in a battle to go private, has re-focused its attention toward private cloud solutions after relinquishing its public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) ambitions to industry partners.

Noting that Dell has been an OpenStack sponsor for three years, Forrest Norrod, general manager for Dell Server Solutions, said that endeavor will help dissolve the barriers between Microsoft server environments and the popular open source cloud computing platform.

OpenStack "This project from Dell will help the OpenStack community gain additional value from investments in Windows Server 2012, with opportunity to further explore OpenStack-based solutions and workloads within existing environments," stated Norrod in company remarks.

According to Dell, the project will allow several key Windows Server 2012 features to interoperate with OpenStack, namely network virtualization, policy-based isolation, Quality of Service (QoS) and multi-tenancy. Further, the company is collaborating with OpenStack community members on optimizing OpenStack Compute for Hyper-V, OpenStack Block Storage for Windows and Dell Crowbar provisioning.

Last year, citing a lack of commitment on Microsoft's part, the OpenStack project removed Hyper-V support in an initiative called blueprint hypervsectomy. Redmond's failure to maintain the code led not only to the removal of Hyper-V code but also to an all-encompassing sterilization project.

OpenStack developer Soren Hansen stated, "The fact of the matter is that the Hyper-V driver has been unmaintained for almost a year. It was made clear when we accepted it in in the first place that we (the core developers of OpenStack) didn't have the means to test it. If we can't test it, we can't maintain it."

Now, Dell is picking up where Microsoft left off.

Adding that the companies are working together "to provide support to enable interoperability," Dell is undertaking the task of getting System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager federated with OpenStack Image Manager. The move is intended to minimize synchronization issues and essentially pave the way for smoother integration jobs in hybrid environments.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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This article was originally published on Wednesday May 22nd 2013
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