Microsoft may try to revive support for Hyper-V in OpenStack as the community considers removing the code -- which one OpenStack developer called broken and unmaintained -- from the stack.
"Microsoft is committed to working with the community to resolve the current issues with Hyper-V and OpenStack," Microsoft said in a statement.
That comment followed a suggestion on an OpenStack news group by Thierry Carrez, a developer handling release management for OpenStack, that the code supporting Hyper-V be removed from the version of OpenStack Compute currently being developed. In a newsgroup item titled "Essex dead wood cutting," he included Hyper-V among just two items that could be removed from Essex, the version of OpenStack Compute scheduled for release in the second quarter. He called the Hyper-V code "known broken and unmaintained."
If it is removed, few people are likely to miss it. "I don't know of any production deployment of it. I don't know of any active development deployment of it," said Joshua McKenty, CEO of Piston Cloud Computing. McKenty was the technical architect of NASA's Nebula cloud platform, which spun off into OpenStack, and is very involved in the OpenStack community.
He recalled that Microsoft hired a contractor company to do the integration work "but they never really finished," he said.
The project may have fizzled for a couple of simple reasons, he said. For instance, the people at Microsoft who championed the idea may have moved into a different group at the company and no one else picked it up.
However, Microsoft may have also decided instead to focus on its own Azure platform for use in public and private cloud deployments, he said.
Microsoft did not answer other questions about its interest and experiences with adding Hyper-V support to OpenStack.
If Microsoft wants to sell server software to cloud service providers using OpenStack, the lack of interest in its hypervisor might be a concern, one analyst said. "What this says more than anything is that people aren't building clouds on Windows as an underlying architecture," said James Staten, an analyst with Forrester Research.
Because Hyper-V is included with the Windows Enterprise server license, a lack of interest in Hyper-V in the OpenStack community probably means cloud service providers aren't using Windows server in their OpenStack deployments.
That's not particularly surprising, Staten said. "If you're building using an open community based solution, you'll start with things that carry no license at all," he said.
However, he said that many individual cloud service providers are beginning to build two offerings: one uses primarily open source software. The second is built on commercial products that are used in enterprises and thus might be more appealing to enterprise customers. Currently, VMware has the bulk of the market share for the cloud services aimed at enterprises, he said.
"So to add a third one or to introduce a commercial license would be a nonintuitive move," Staten said.