As expected, the two companies are collaborating on four areas of technology that address significant problems faced by enterprises: virtualization, Web services for managing physical and virtual servers, directory and identity interoperability, and document format compatibility.
In virtualization, Microsoft and Novell are jointly developing a virtualization offering for Linux and Windows Server to consolidate server workloads in heterogeneous data centers.
When the project is completed, users will be able to run SLES 10 (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) as a virtualized guest on an upcoming "service pack 1" update to Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2.
In addition, in the next version of Windows Server, codename Longhorn, SLES 10 will run as an enlightened guest using its built-in Longhorns virtualization technology. On the Linux side, Longhorn will run as a paravirtualized guest on SLES 10 using Xen virtualization technology.
All these new virtualization mechanisms are expected to arrive in 2007, according to the companies. Virtualization is the first goal for the recently announced Novell and Microsoft joint labs.