Citrix Systems and Microsoft have strengthened their existing partnership with an alliance that will see Citrix adopt Microsoft’s Virtual Hard Disk format as the common runtime environment for its Desktop Server and virtual application products.
Microsoft, meanwhile, said that it will use VHD as the format for its SoftGrid Application Virtualization for both the desktop and Terminal Services, while the two companies will collaborate on new virtualization and virtual management capabilities.
Microsoft’s longstanding partnership with Citrix over application presentation technologies was strengthened by the latter’s recent acquisition of desktop and server virtualization specialist XenSource.
While XenSource’s hypervisor competes with Microsoft’s forthcoming Viridian technology, the two are also collaborating on virtualization management capabilities, while XenSource already supports VHD as its native runtime format for virtual machines.
VHD has been available as part of Microsoft’s open specification program since October 2006 and under a commercial license since May 2005 and represents the virtual machine operating system and application stack as a single file.
According to Mike Neil, general manager of virtualization strategy at Microsoft, standardizing on VHD will give users more flexibility. By standardizing on a common virtualization format for both operating systems and applications, Microsoft and Citrix will enable customers to run interoperable solutions that can be centrally managed using our technologies, he said.