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Microsoft Windows Linux

Microsoft To Support CentOS Linux In Hyper-V 291

Posted by Soulskill
from the virtual-olive-branch dept.
jbrodkin writes "Long the enemy of Linux users, Microsoft is apparently seeing dollar signs in the Linux-dominated Web server market. Microsoft's virtualization software, Hyper-V, will immediately add support for CentOS Linux, a community version of Red Hat that even Microsoft notes is a 'popular Linux distribution for hosters.' 'This enables our Hosting partners to consolidate their mixed Windows + Linux infrastructure on Windows Server Hyper-V,' Microsoft said. In addition to Web hosting, this targets another area where Microsoft is stuck in second place: the virtualization market dominated by VMware."
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Microsoft To Support CentOS Linux In Hyper-V

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  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday May 16, 2011 @05:08PM (#36144878)
    I would think Hyper-V is behind VMWare, KVM, Xen, z/VM, and a few other hypervisers. Has Microsoft really been able to gain that much market share?
    • I doubt they have, which is why they're now going to try to hook folks by supporting more distros. I'll wager it will be a cold day in hell before they'll officially support Debian and its derivatives though.

  • by bhcompy (1877290) on Monday May 16, 2011 @05:08PM (#36144890)
    Microsoft doesn't care about linux, it cares about market domination while making money. This is one more way to add to their ability to dominate and make money. If they're still selling licenses and getting systems installed, caring about what you implement means little. True, it's only one OS at this point(presumably), but I imagine they'll add more as time comes. This is also about competition from IBM, with which these same points apply
    • Microsoft doesn't care about linux, it cares about market domination while making money.

      Almost. Microsoft doesn't care about Linux. It cares about making money. Market domination is just a consequence of that goal.

      • by imric (6240)

        All of the products it operates as loss leaders prove you wrong...

        • by Noughmad (1044096)

          Loss leaders usually generate more money in other areas. Market domination is a means to achieve the goal of making money.

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@@@gmail...com> on Monday May 16, 2011 @05:09PM (#36144898) Journal

    Running Linux in a VM on Windows is like strapping yourself to the outside of a car with a seatbelt.

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Monday May 16, 2011 @05:20PM (#36145102)

      Not really,
      Linux key strength over windows isn't stability or security. It is the fact that it is hugely customizable and great for making pre-packaged virtual machines that do one or two things and does them well. For the most part the office could be nearly all Microsoft and its administration staff are windows administrators and they treat that random Linux VM as just as an other application. Vs. the inverse of having to deal with a Linux system and each windows VM as its own OS that needs administration. Because Windows isn't customizable to an appliance as well as Linux can be.

    • Running Linux in a VM on Windows is like strapping yourself to the outside of a car with a seatbelt.

      In other words, it's like driving a convertible with the top down.

      But seriously, if you want to run Linux on some hardware configurations, you have to do it in a virtual machine because the hardware maker doesn't want to share specs with the developers of Linux or userspace subsystems.

      • Can you describe one of these magical hardware configurations where a Windows VM host can run, but Linux can't?

        • I imagine you could put together a machine that wouldn't run Linux, but I think you would have to put some effort into it, particularly for server-grade hardware, where you're not dealing the Super3DXXX video card that has a hacked-up binary blob kernel module that barely runs X. On server-grade hardware, you're dealing with a far smaller pool of hardware and I have yet to come across any of the server offerings from big guys like Dell and HP that doesn't run Linux out of the box. Hell, pretty much all of

        • by jittles (1613415)
          My AsRock P67 Extreme6 does not have USB3 driver support. None of the USB ports (but two) work in Linux. I'd say that is pretty crippling if you need more than 2 USB devices. Of course you could get a hub to work around that, but that is just one more piece of junk to put on my desk. But I actually run several Linux VMs inside of Windows and on my Mac mini.
        • by scheme (19778)

          Can you describe one of these magical hardware configurations where a Windows VM host can run, but Linux can't?

          The acerpower 2000 mini-systems have this issue. Linux (RHEL 4/5, SL 4/5/6) all install but don't recognize the network card. Windows vista and 7 can use the network card. A modern system without a network connection is pretty much functionally useless nowadays.

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Monday May 16, 2011 @05:10PM (#36144926)
    Microsoft is good about not letting feelings get in the way of business. They famously ignored the Internet for a long time and then caught up fast. They saw the threat of Netbooks immediately. They might not always get things right, but they keep on trying.
    • That may be true, but how many shops do you know of that actually use HyperV? VMware dominates, Xen a ways behind, and Linux KVM and VirtualBox back aways. I don't think anyone actually runs VMs under Windows, it's rather the other way around.

      • by LBArrettAnderson (655246) on Monday May 16, 2011 @05:15PM (#36145012)

        I don't think anyone actually runs VMs under Windows
         
        Are you kidding?

        • I meant in the corporate/bare metal world. Yes, lots of folks run XP under Windows 7 and run VirtualBox, but that ain't the same thing.

          • Any company that already has a significant Windows server deployment on the intranet (of which there are plenty) will at least consider Hyper-V. If its features satisfy their requirements, then why not use it? It's one less vendor to deal with.

        • by bloodhawk (813939)
          I contract at 2 very large government departments that are almost completely Hyper-V with a smattering of legacy VMWare that they are slowly migrating away from. It is certainly not as solid as VMWare but it gets the job done and costs a hell of a lot less.
          • You mean it is "free" if you buy the Windows OS. VMware is "Free" if you don't need infrastructure capable. Just run VMWare Player in Windows or Linux or whatever. Windows is great for VARs though. Sell Windows Solutions Cheap, and then rake in the dough through support. I'd sell Hyper-V all day long if I was a VAR. But I'm a user, and the low overhead of VMWare makes it easy choice.

            I'd also like to see the performance comparison between the two.

      • by bhcompy (1877290)
        I think that will turn around sooner or later, though, particularly as cert paths trickle down to the community colleges and such. Plenty of businesses and government agencies love to run a unified solution, particularly for pricing. It has nothing to do with functionality and everything to do with pricing and finding "qualified" people all while pleasing some executive/bureaucrat who has no clue or no care about the fallout
        • Well, maybe, but the technology still seems far enough behind the other players that I don't see the advantage. For any outfit with the cash and expertise to be rolling out VMs in a big way, nothing compares to VMWare. The other players are far behind in usability and scalability, and Microsoft is well behind even those guys.

          • Depends on your company and sector. If you've got tech-savvy executives, you might deploy VMware. You might also deploy Openstack (developed by Rackspace, Dell, and NASA for their Nebula cloud computing initiative) or Xen (that little hypervisor that drives Amazon's AWS EC2 instances).

      • That may be true, but how many shops do you know of that actually use HyperV? VMware dominates, Xen a ways behind, and Linux KVM and VirtualBox back aways. I don't think anyone actually runs VMs under Windows, it's rather the other way around.

        Microsoft has been making some inroads with Hyper-V with mid-size businesses that are already 100% Windows environments - especially ones that haven't quite started down the virtualization path. Their licensing is attractive to these smaller companies, compared to VMware (at least the higher-end vSphere offerings). And it's Microsoft, which they're already comfortable with.

        VMware destroys Hyper-V in just about every possible way at the enterprise level, but mid-size companies often don't need all the b

      • by Locutus (9039)
        there are lots and lots of "Windows shops" where they almost never venture outside of the Microsoft world. Lots of them run HyperV and do so because it means all their servers don't crash when one Windows VM crashes. It's called consolidation and improving reliability and is why virtual machines on PC hardware really kicked into full gear. Before virtual machines these Windows shops had to have one Windows software service run on its own hardware to isolate crashes and down time so that meant lots of hardwa
      • by jbplou (732414)

        Do you work in IT? Hyper-V is all over the place Microsoft has about 25% marketshare in the server virtualization market. It isn't as technically good as VMWare but it is significantly cheaper. I know of many shops that run it, so e actually run both VMWare and Hyper-V. I know of no place that runs Xen other than web hosts.

      • I don't think anyone actually runs VMs under Windows, it's rather the other way around.

        Where I work now, we all use VMs running under Windows, and one of my jobs at the last place I worked was to create a VM with all the required software for the devs. One of the greatest things about virtualization is that you can give all your devs the same setup just by copying a VM to their physical machine. I also use virtualization under Windows at home for development purposes, where fucking up a VM is a lot easier

    • Netwhats?
      • by tepples (727027)
        "Netbooks" are budget subnotebook PCs. Someone got the bright idea to make a $200 laptop computer for K-12 school systems in developing countries, and then a bunch of companies jumped into the ring to make the same thing for the rest of the world. Initially these ran some sort of GNU/Linux because the Windows license was too expensive compared to the hardware until Microsoft started offering cheap copies of Windows XP and then Windows 7 Starter. In fact, Microsoft ended up largely dictating hardware specs f
        • by hedwards (940851)

          The issue wasn't that MS wanted $15-30 or so for the license, the issue was that the specs required to run any flavor of Windows made the netbooks a lot more expensive and pushed them into the realm of sub notebooks. Just look at pretty much any netbook which has both a Linux and a Windows flavor and you'll see what I mean.

          The main reason for netbooks was that they were cheap, ultra mobile and focused on the net, rather than more general purpose tasks.

          • by tepples (727027)

            the issue was that the specs required to run any flavor of Windows made the netbooks a lot more expensive

            Windows XP ran fine on the early netbooks, which had a Celeron 900 or Atom CPU and half a GB of RAM, as long as the SSD was replaced with an HDD so that the OS would fit. It's just that Microsoft wanted to stop selling Windows XP in favor of Windows Vista and didn't have anything to replace it with until Moore's law made Windows 6.x-compatible parts cheap enough for budget subnotebooks.

            Just look at pretty much any netbook which has both a Linux and a Windows flavor and you'll see what I mean.

            Do the major companies still make Linux netbooks anymore? I haven't seen them in Best Buy or Staples for several months.

  • I thought there was a court case (antitrust?) where it was ruled that for competition reasons, Microsoft couldn't sell Unix systems - and this was always presumed to include GNU/Linux.

    Is this gone with recent the end of the "oversight period" put in place in 2002?

    • by tepples (727027)

      Microsoft couldn't sell Unix systems - and this was always presumed to include GNU/Linux.

      How? GNU's Not UNIX, and Linux Is Not UNIX either.

  • by ron_ivi (607351) <{moc.secivedxelpmocpaehc} {ta} {ontods}> on Monday May 16, 2011 @05:14PM (#36144996)

    So all the stability and security of Microsoft running on the bare metal; combined with the user-friendliness and ease of use of Linux. :)

  • KVM and Xen are both fully featured enterprise class hypervisors with the ability to live migrate. Hyper-V only *just* got live migration and only when you're using clustering (translation: large wads of cash are required). VMWare is undoubtedly the leader, but KVM and Xen are defaintely fighting for 2nd.

    • VMWare is undoubtedly the leader, but KVM and Xen are defaintely fighting for 2nd.

      In terms of number of servers deployed? Do you have any numbers to back that claim?

      (note that feature richness does not correlate directly to market share)

  • by Isaac-1 (233099) on Monday May 16, 2011 @05:23PM (#36145160)

    User are leaving Centos left and right, security patches are months behind schedule, Centos 6 is over 6 months behind RH enterprise 6, the devs are a closed group and will not accept help, and do there best to allienate the user base.

    • Here's to that... I've been reading more and more about Scientific Linux as a replacement for CentOS.

  • by Britz (170620) on Monday May 16, 2011 @05:37PM (#36145422) Homepage

    OpenVZ (Virtuozzo) and Linux-VServer used to be the big names in virtualization. Now Linux has LXC in the mainline kernel. Virtualization with Xen and KVM are nice. But when you want to run Linux in virtualized guests you get a much better performance with para virtualization.

    Xen and KVM are useful is you want to run Windows as a guest. But for Linux guests I really recommend the above.

    But why would you buy a commercial Hyper-V? VMware is there. VirtualBox has excellent support for Windows hosts and is free. I don't see how Microsoft could make any headway with all the excellent products with every ninche (commercial, open source, free, expensive) already taken.

    • by shallot (172865)

      OpenVZ (Virtuozzo) and Linux-VServer used to be the big names in virtualization. Now Linux has LXC in the mainline kernel. Virtualization with Xen and KVM are nice. But when you want to run Linux in virtualized guests you get a much better performance with para virtualization.

      You messed up your terminology. Xen is paravirtualization [wikipedia.org] by default. OpenVZ and VServer are OS-level virtualization [wikipedia.org].

  • by hackus (159037) on Monday May 16, 2011 @05:44PM (#36145530) Homepage

    Honestly I cannot understand why you would virtualize anything but commercial software. It is a pain to manage without virtualization, it suffers from legacy problems due to all of the very big risks you take when you buy the license. You really have no benefits at all I can think of running commercial software.

    Thanks to KVM, the commercial software I do have to buy, I can virtualize it, freeze the hardware requirements in time so it will always work forever and ever. Never need to reinstall it and it isn't if, but when the company goes tits up I am protected. I can dump the software on my terms.

    I can even make a copy of it in case the hardware virtualizing the commercial software breaks.

    Deploy it to a disaster recovery site and I don't have to have a huge checklist to go through to make sure it is configured right during recovery.

    No stupid specific backup agents for commercial software's little proprietary databases they all like to create to make things even more expensive to use.

    I left with the opinion that Hyper-V is a solution in search of a problem.

    I would be using Cent OS with KVM to virtualize Microsoft's OS, where it is safely under the flipper of my penguin, where it can't make my life hell.

    -Hack

    • You've successfully argued that you should always virtualize commercial software, but claiming that you would not virtualize other software is another matter. Some of your points, e.g. DR, apply equally to all kinds of software.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Monday May 16, 2011 @05:57PM (#36145758) Journal

    Shouldn't we be hosting Windows on CentOS instead of the other way around? I mean, usually you go with Linux for robustness or price, and you host Windows because of a requirement (IIS, Exchange, politics) that can't easily be met natively on Linux. Hosting an operating system with uptimes measured in hundreds of days on an OS that has to be rebooted every 45 days doesn't seem wise to me.

    • by jbplou (732414)

      Windows shops that run 95% Windows but have acquired some application that runs on Linux would do this. they are already configured for Windows Virtualization technologies and have no reason to run Linux on bare metal given the advantages of virtulization.

  • ...And I will say that again -- Linux in a production environment does not belong in VM in the first place. VMs are a solution to uniquely Windows problems (lack of package management, broken backup procedures, inflexible storage, abysmal security), and it does not significantly exacerbate uniquely Windows deficiencies (bad scheduler, bad virtual memory, bad filesystem and storage management). While VMs are useful for development,
    "VMWare jockeys" (or whatever they should be called with this crap) should nev

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