HP, which has been aggressive in enticing Sun customers, is partnering with operating systems makers Microsoft, Novell and Red Hat in its efforts. The partnerships are part of HP's overall Sun Complete Care program, a collection of products, services, support and financial incentives designed to lure customers worried about Sun's future over to HP. Over the past year, about 350 Sun customers have made the move, according to HP.
Hewlett-Packard is calling in Microsoft, Red Hat and Novell to help it cherry-pick customers from Sun Microsystems.
HP officials said Dec. 15 that the operating system vendors are
bringing service offerings, incentives and training programs designed
to make it easier for Sun customers to migrate to HP.
The partnerships are the latest steps by HP to grab customers from
Sun, which has been struggling for years and currently is the target of
a buyout by Oracle. The uncertainty surrounding Oracle's proposed $7.4
billion acquisition-the companies currently are awaiting the OK from
European regulators to go through with the deal, and some Sun customers
are unsure of the future of Sun's hardware once it gets absorbed by
Oracle-is making HP an even more attractive alternative, according to
Bob Gill, managing director of server research for TheInfoPro, said
that Sun customers seem to fall into two different camps. Half of them
are happy about the Oracle relationship, believing that the software
giant will give their SPARC/Solaris deployments the support they need.
"The other half are aghast," worried that the investments they've
made in their environments are on the way out, Gill said in an
HP introduced its Sun Complete Care program
July 16, the same day that Sun shareholders voted to approve the Oracle
acquisition. The program is a collection of products, services, support
plans and financial incentives designed to make it easier for Sun
customers to migrate to HP's ProLiant, BladeSystem or Itanium-based
Those servers can run a variety of operating systems, including
Microsoft Windows, Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Red Hat
Enterprise Linux or HP's own HP-UX 11i Unix OS. They also can run Sun's
Solaris operating system.
Over the 12 months that ended Oct. 31, more than 350 Sun customers
have shifted to HP, thanks in large part of the Complete Care program,
according to company officials.
The Complete Care program includes everything from proof-of-concepts
to initial assessments and application migration services. Through the
new partnerships, HP can now offer Sun customers a 50 percent discount
on SUSE Linux Enterprise Fundamentals on-demand training, up to 25
percent off Red Hat Global training, and support from Microsoft's
Migration Competency Center in France, which offers assessment and
proof-of-concept services for Sun customers.
HP is not the only OEM looking to lure away Sun customers. IBM in November sharply cut memory prices
on their Power servers, trying to give customers of both Sun and HP
another reason to make the jump to Big Blue. IBM officials not only
spoke about the uncertainty surrounding Sun's future, but also the
delays that have haunted Intel's high-end Itanium chip, which is
primarily found in HP's Integrity servers.
Sun saw significant growth in the 1990s as the Internet came into
play, but its fortunes turned after the dot-com bust earlier this
However, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has been vocal about his intentions of not only keeping Sun's hardware business
Sun's SPARC processor-but increasing investments in it. Ellison has
taken to tweaking IBM about the upcoming competition a combined Oracle
and Sun will pose to Big Blue.