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Microsoft, Red Hat become VM partners; IT channel news in brief

Microsoft, Red Hat team on cross-VM support; Kaspersky Lab hacked.

IT channel headlines for Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009

Microsoft, Red Hat make nice on virtualization support

Microsoft and Red Hat Inc. are making nice on the virtualization front, agreeing to support each other's operating systems as guests on their respective hypervisors. The news, disclosed Monday on various company blogs, is important because Red Hat fields what many see as the most business-ready version of Linux -- Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). RHEL is a direct competitor to Microsoft's Windows Server franchise, and the pact is also a symbolic blow to Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise. Microsoft and Novell Inc. have a two-year-old collaboration pact on interoperability, which also includes patent protection for users of SUSE Linux in the event that Microsoft should decide to sue over alleged patent infringement issues.

Blogging about the news, Mike Neil, the general manager of virtualization at Microsoft, said that the Red Hat deal does not include any such patent protections. Neil wrote, "One thing I'd like to point out -- since these agreements are focused on joint technical support for Microsoft and Red Hat's mutual customers using server virtualization -- [is that] the activities included in these agreements do not require the sharing of IP. Therefore, these agreements do not include any patent or other IP licensing rights." The move also has obvious ramifications for server virtualization leader VMware as well

Deliverables are a few months away, but for the short term, Red Hat is now part of Microsoft's Server Virtualization Validation Program. Microsoft is a Red Hat partner for virtualization interoperability and support and will be listed in the Red Hat hardware certification list once the Red Hat certification process is done in the second half of the year, Neil said. Microsoft will publish Linux Integration Components for RHEL when the testing and validation is complete. Red Hat has said it will provide Windows Hardware Quality Labs drivers for a variety of Windows Server versions.

Kaspersky Lab hacked

The hacker who broke into the U.S.-based Kaspersky Lab support website on Feb. 7 set off a wave of attacks against the antivirus vendor when details of the breach were published on a hacking community website, according to Database security expert David Litchfield said some customer data was exposed, but no files were breached.

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