Sun / Microsoft Interoperability First Step Of Many?

Sun and Microsoft's announcement of the interoperability lab on Microsoft's campus is a good, ongoing first step. Not only does this announcement signal additional ongoing testing and interoperability between the two company's products, it could signal even greater cooperation down the road.

Sun is leveraging open source Xen for their own virtualization products and Sun has been making more waves about their ability to manage VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V environments through Sun's virtualization management products. The same is true with Microsoft's statements that System Center manages more than just Windows virtualization technologies.

Beyond current day products though, are efforts by the two companies to create the future data center and on demand computing software of the future.

Microsoft is gradually going public with the "mesh" concepts of devices and data synchronization. We'll hear more about Microsoft's strategy over the coming months. Sun though also has a much lessor known effort called project Caroline.

Here's how Sun's site describes Project Caroline:

  • Project Caroline enables services to programmatically allocate, monitor, and control virtualized compute, storage, and networking resources. By providing programmatic interfaces for managing platform resources, Project Caroline enables developers to create services that can themselves update and flex platform resource usage, dynamically and without human intervention.
  • Project Caroline resources are exposed through high level abstractions, including language level virtual machines, networks, and network accessible filesystems and databases. These abstractions can improve developer productivity by providing simplified interfaces to infrastructure resources. They also enable developers to create more robust, long-living services by insulating service code from changes to the underlying infrastructure.
  • Project Caroline presents a horizontally scaled pool of distributed resources as a single system, providing developers with a unified platform for allocating and controlling these resources. In addition to simplifying developers' use of distributed resources, this unified system model also allows the platform to draw on a horizontally scaled resource pool to meet the allocation requests of multiple applications, running on behalf of multiple users.

Not much is being said in public beyond what's on Sun's site, though you can read between the lines and get an idea that some of Caroline is working to achieve similar goals to Microsoft Mesh.

Could the ongoing interoperability efforts between Microsoft and Sun be just the surface of the iceberg of the collaboration that's really going on? Or is Sun's Caroline the open source / Linux version of what Microsoft Mesh is attempting to do?

There could be no connection between the two. Or maybe there really is a connection. Only time will tell.

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