An extended OEM partnership between HP and Sun that will see the former join the OpenSolaris community and become a key distributor of Sun's Solaris 10 operating system has been given the thumbs up by IDC.
Announced today, the deal will see HP distribute and provide support for Solaris on its ProLiant server and blade platforms while also joining the OpenSolaris project.
IDC Enterprise server and workstations analyst, Matt Oostveen, said the deal was a “smart move”.
“If HP can have Solaris running on its x86 servers, it is certainly very enticing to a lot of people out there who have committed themselves to a Solaris environment to be able to change and go across to HP x86, who is the market leader in Australia,” he said. “They represent 70 per cent of all blade shipments that occur in Australia, so they certainly are out at the forefront.”
Sun systems product manager, Sam Tan, said the deal had been in the works for some time and distribution models would stay the same.
“We are really glad HP has come on-board with this,” Tan said.
“HP previously had access to Solaris 10. It sold Solaris 10 as part of their offerings. What this announcement days is take it to the next step. HP are now actually going to be part of the OpenSolaris community as well and they are going to start contributing stuff to the code base where they see they can add value.”
Oostveen claimed, while the deal appeared to be a win-win situation for the companies, HP would get the lion’s share of the spoils as it gained better access to enterprise markets.
“This is a way for HP to start opening up the higher end of the x86 market place, which has traditionally been dominated by Sun and IBM,” he said.
“I think the real winner will be HP. The one advantage that Sun had was the Solaris environment and by losing that they I think they are letting up too much control.”
Tan acknowledged the deal could increase competition for Sun in the high-end server space, but played down the potential impact.
“As much as you can see the x86 market eating into the traditional high-end server space, the head room on enterprise is getting bigger and bigger as well,” he said.