In an effort to spur cloud adoption, Microsoft is making an unusual move: participating in an open source project. On Friday, Cloud.com said that it is working with Microsoft to make the open source OpenStack project compatible with Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualisation technology.
Rackspace and NASA started the OpenStack project in July with the goal of making it easier for enterprises to move data and applications from one cloud to another. Rackspace is contributing the code that runs its Cloud Files and Cloud Servers technology and NASA is contributing the software that runs its Nebula cloud platform.
OpenStack already supports Xen, KVM, QEMU and User Mode Linux Support hypervisors. But without support for Microsoft's Hyper-V, many enterprise customers that run a mix of Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies might struggle to take advantage of OpenStack.
Cloud.com is developing the code that will make OpenStack compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, with Microsoft providing architectural and technical guidance to Cloud.com. The companies did not say when they expect that work to be complete.
Over 35 companies support OpenStack at its launch, including Dell, Intel, AMD, Rightscale and Citrix.
OpenStack is not the only effort aimed at solving the vendor lock-in problem in cloud computing. VMware has said that it is supporting portability through its work with various forums like the Open Virtualisation Format and the Cloud Security Alliance and standards efforts like the Distributed Management Task Force.