Microsoft simplifies 3rd virtualization platform support

Along with Hyper-V (formerly codename Viridian / Windows Server Virtualization) and Application Virtualization (formerly SoftGrid) announcements, Microsoft unveils a new program to support its operating systems and back-end servers on 3rd party hypervisors: the Server Virtualization Validation Program.

With this new program Microsoft will allow companies like Citrix, VMware, etc. to self-test and validate a specific virtualization stack (hardware + hypervisor) to provide customers out-of-the-box support for Windows guest OSes.

This will imply, starting from June 2008, that customers will not have anymore to buy expensive Premium Support to receive commercially reasonable efforts to investigate potential issues with Microsoft software running together with non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software. Once a 3rd party vendor will validate its hypervisor in the new program, customers issues will be addressed in a transparent way, at no additional cost, by the vendor itself or Microsoft.

The first vendor announcing its support for the new program is Virtual Iron:

Virtual Iron Software, a provider of enterprise-class server virtualization software solutions, today announced its plans to join Microsoft’s Server Virtualization Validation Program when available in June 2008. With this program, Virtual Iron will test and validate the Virtual Iron platform running Windows Server 2008 and prior versions of Microsoft’s server operating system. Once the platform is validated, Microsoft will offer support to Virtual Iron customers running Microsoft Windows Server as guest operating systems in Virtual Iron virtual environments. As a result, mutual customers will have greater access to Microsoft’s comprehensive support capabilities, improved support hand-offs between the two companies, increasing satisfaction and adoption…

Given the tight partnership between Microsoft and Citrix also this one is expected to adhere the new program. VMware instead may be not so happy to apply, which would imply additional costs for its customers.