Hewlett-Packard will resell Sun Microsystems' Solaris 10 Operating System subscriptions on HP ProLiant x86 systems but is keeping Solaris away from Integrity servers that run HP's version of Unix, HP-UX.
ProLiant will also continue to run Linux distributions from Novell and Red Hat. "We will continue to have close partnerships with those vendors. This announcement simply elevates Solaris 10 … but there will be no impact to the other OSes," said Mark Potter, senior vice president and general manager of ESS Infrastructure Software and Blades at Hewlett-Packard Co.
Some customers, including Gentry Ganote, prefer Solaris over Linux on HP x86 servers. Solaris offers "more impressive features," said Ganote, the former CIO of the PGA Tour SuperStores who now runs Rojoli Technologies, an IT virtualization and consultancy firm in Atlanta.
"Sun has made a big push into the area of open storage, and the key with them is the ZFS file system," Ganote said. "They have some great features in Solaris; D-Trace within Solaris is a pretty sophisticated analytics tool, and they offer virtualization within containers."Partnership to breed one-stop shop?
HP and Sun now have a multi-year OEM agreement that extends their existing partnership to offer on HP ProLiant x86 servers and blade servers. IBM began reselling Sun Solaris for both its x86 servers and mainframes in August 2007. At that time, Sun's CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, called the partnership with IBM the closest relationship Sun has forged with any vendor. He noted that Sun had an "arm's-length" relationship with HP because the company did not distribute licenses for Solaris or optimize its systems for Solaris. Unlike HP, IBM resells Solaris on more than just x86 systems.
But HP now hopes to be considered a "one-stop shop" by reselling standard and premium one- and three-year Solaris subscriptions and offering technical support for Solaris running on ProLiant server platforms, according to HP's Potter.
In addition to the reseller agreement, HP and Sun will continue working to improve management features for ProLiant systems, including Insight Management software development.
The two companies will also expand Solaris on ProLiant through avenues like GTM programs, ISV enablement, training and other events. HP said it will also increase its participation in the OpenSolaris community, collaborating with other users on feature development and interoperability.
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