When Novell and Microsoft announced their unlikely partnership, a part of the arrangement that got little attention at the time was that they’d create a joint research facility, where both company’s technical experts would collaborate on new joint software solutions. Now, they’re staffing up.
According to Sam Ramji, Microsoft’s director of platform technology strategy, the companies are looking for a few good program managers and software engineers to populate that joint research facility.
In a Port 25 message, Ramji wrote that as a result of the partnership, two companies are opening a Joint Interoperability Lab, which “will be around for the long term, and will focus on interoperable virtualization between the Windows and SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server). This lab will be part of the product engineering teams for both companies.”
In particular, the Lab will focus on several areas: “Virtualization, Office OpenXML/ODF interoperability, WS-Management interoperability, and directory federation.” Ramji, and his Novell colleagues, are looking for program managers and software design engineers. Depending on the particular job, one might work for Novell, while another would draw his or her pay-checks from Microsoft.
The job descriptions make it clear, though, that virtualization is at the top of the priority list for the two companies.
Specifically, Microsoft wants a “Software Design Engineer in Test, Linux Interoperability” and a “Program Manager, Linux Interoperability,” while Novell is seeking a “Software Design Engineer in Test, Windows Interoperability.”
For its software engineer, Microsoft wants an experienced “Software Development Engineer in Test who can take on the challenging role of qualifying Microsoft’s new Longhorn Server Hypervisor based virtual machine solution in a collaborative project with Novell. This position will require candidates with substantial knowledge of Microsoft’s device driver models; strong experience in developing and testing software written in C, C++ or C#; working knowledge of Linux (preferably SLES); and knowledge of Microsoft’s server class feature and applications.”
From this, it would seem that Microsoft and Novell have joint plans for XenSource Inc.‘s Xen virtualization system. Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with XenSource last July. At the time, Bob Muglia, the senior vice president for servers and tools at Microsoft, said, “Virtualization is an important trend in the industry as well as a specific area where there are great opportunities for interoperability because of the ability for an operating system such as Windows, with the virtualization technology we are building in, to support Linux in a very native and high-performance way.”
Novell, of course, has long partnered with XenSource. Xen is already working in SLES 10 (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server). Indeed, there have been recent rumors that >Novell
In turn, Novell is looking for “an experienced Software Development Engineer in Test who can take on the challenging role of qualifying SLES10 based virtual machine solution in a collaborative project with Microsoft. This position will require candidates with substantial knowledge of Linux device driver models; strong experience in developing and testing software written in C, C++ and various scripting languages; working knowledge of Microsoft server environment; and knowledge of server class feature and applications on Linux.”
It seems clear that a virtualization solution that will run both on Longhorn, the next version of Windows server, and on future editions of SLES is in the works. Microsoft’s other job description, though, indicates that Microsoft isn’t replacing its own home-grown virtualization program, Viridian, with Xen.
Regarding its “Program Manager, Linux Interoperability” job opening, Microsoft says the person who is hired for that “highly visible senior program management position will have the opportunity to work in one of the core areas of growth for Microsoft.”
Microsoft adds that “The main focus of this position is to drive interoperability between Linux and Windows, including planning and leading the Microsoft/Novell Joint Interoperability Lab. This is a multi-million dollar, multi-year effort that will ensure high performance and availability of both SUSE Linux on Viridian and Longhorn Server on Xen.”
This job will require the manager to lead a small team of software engineers in virtualization product development with both Microsoft and Novell virtualization engineering teams; analyze Fortune 100 customers’ needs, engage with open-source communities, work on the Microsoft’s Interoperability Roadmap, and “Scale impact of interoperability work across the company, including worldwide field engagement.”
Need it be said that Microsoft is looking for a top-level technical leader for the job? In addition, this will be “a high visibility role that involves strategic and technical communication at all levels.”
One question, though, that any job seeker will have is still unanswered. Ramji said that the location for the Joint Interoperability Lab is still secret.