In a first of its kind deal, Microsoft has entered into a joint agreement with China’s leading domestic Linux operating system provider to together provide cloud services across both Microsoft and Linux platforms.
The agreement with China Standard Software Company (CS2C), a government-owned Linux provider, was announced late Monday.
It’s the first time Microsoft has partnered to provide cross-platform cloud services in an emerging economy, said Sandy Gupta, general manager of Microsoft’s Open Solutions group.
“This collaboration can actually help us build a model to do similar collaborations in other emerging economies,” Gupta said in an interview today.
China’s rapidly growing economy translates into an explosion of computing and storage needs. One of the ways enterprises in China is handling that is by building cloud infrastructures – either by themselves or with partners.
One way to make the cloud services more economically feasible is to ensure that the cloud infrastructure supports multiple platforms, not just one at a time – like one cloud for Microsoft, another for competing platform Linux.
Microsoft has been engaged in such multi-platform cloud collaborations in other parts of the world, Gupta said. But this is the first time it’s doing so in an emerging economy.
“The significant difference in China is the leapfrogging to the cloud,” he said. “Because of its rapid growth, we’re seeing it much faster than in any other part of the world. So it accelerates the need for interoperability.”
And while Microsoft has many partnerships in China, this is the first time it’s partnered there with the provider of what’s essentially a competing platform, Gupta said.
The mixed source solutions stemming from this collaboration will be built on Microsoft’s Hyper-V Open Cloud architecture and will include support to run CS2C NeoKylin Linux Server products, according to the Microsoft news release.
Gupta declined to disclose the details of the “legal covenant agreement” that the two parties signed.
(Photo of Sandy Gupta, general manager of the Open Solutions Group at Microsoft, and China Standard Software Co. Ltd. vice president Tao Guo at a collaboration signing ceremony in Beijing, courtesy of Microsoft.)