This morning Microsoft announced that, with immediate effect, it will support Windows Server2008 R2 Hyper-V running CentOS, a popular Linux distribution for hosters. This was the number one requirement for interoperability that we heard from that community.

“This development enables our hosting partners to consolidate their mixed Windows and Linux infrastructure on Windows Server Hyper-V; reducing cost and complexity, while betting on an enterprise class virtualization platform. I want to thank the Microsoft Open Source Technology Center for the work they have done with the community to make this possible,” Sandy Gupta, a general manager in Microsoft’s Open Solutions Group, said in a blog post.

Gupta will also be delivering a keynote address at the opening day of the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) in San Francisco today. During the keynote he, along with his colleague Fabio Cunha, will demonstrate the cross-platform architecture of Microsoft’s Private Cloud.

“We will show implementation that supports multiple hypervisors and delivers a platform for the transformation of a heterogeneous IT infrastructure into an automated mixed source Cloud infrastructure. Fabio will show demos of various cross-platform capabilities of System Center Operations Manager, System Center Orchestrator, and also how customers can use a single pane of glass to deploy patches and updates across Windows and Linux Servers,” Gupta said.

You can read the full announcement here at the “Openness at Microsoft” blog.

This is just another example of how Microsoft continues to work on becoming more open in how we develop solutions; work with the open source communities; and how we’re making mixed source solutions a reality for businesses as they transition to the Cloud.  You can read more on work being done towards cloud computing from this week’s TechEd conference in Atlanta.

But there’s more to be done, especially as we think about the evolution of Cloud architectures and the growth of IT in emerging markets.

“We like to think that we have a mature IT ecosystem today, but in many ways, it is still in its infancy and there is a lot more scope of IT Automation is the promise of the cloud. Technologies continue to emerge and evolve. Innovation cycles are becoming shorter. Businesses are increasingly dependent on, and demanding of, their IT resources. There are many challenges – and opportunities – ahead of us. Competition is healthy, but collaboration will be the tide that raises all boats,” Gupta said.