Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Sun and IBM Partner on Solaris

Sun Microsystems and IBM have announced
a partnership
whereby IBM will distribute Solaris 10, re-selling Sun's support subscriptions for the OS running on IBM BladeCenter and System x servers. Although IBM already offered Solaris as an option on some servers, the agreement extends this by adding
Solaris subscriptions, which are provided by Sun.

According to the vendors, the agreement is about offering customers more choice. That's true to a certain degree, and the agreement makes sense for both companies. Sun gets another channel to market for Solaris, while IBM gets the possibility of additional hardware or consulting sales. The obvious risk for the vendors is that Sun will lose out on hardware sales and IBM on sales of its own Linux support packages, but that's good for users.

Sun and IBM have been rivals for a long time, but Sun's decision to make Solaris open-source means that there's much less reason for their
rivalry to continue --- at least in the software space. With Solaris already running on non-Sun hardware and IBM's long tradition of offering non-IBM components that may appear to compete with its own (chips from Intel and AMD, OSs from Microsoft and the open-source community), there's really no reason for them not to partner. The risk for Sun is that the partnership could become too successful. Customers might begin to identify Solaris with IBM, something that's already happened with Sun's other great innovation, Java.

bulletReview: Sun's Solaris 10
Sun Hopes Solaris Hasn't Missed The Open-Source Boat
The company is playing catch-up to Linux but counting on Solaris' reputation and customer base to build a buzz around the open-source project.