Hewlett-Packard Co. and open-source middleware vendor JBoss Inc. on Friday said that HP will now provide first-line support for JBoss open-source Java application server. The move will provide HPs Linux server customers a unified support structure for hardware and open-source software.
"This is a great channel for us," said Marc Fleury, president of JBoss, in an interview with eWEEK.com. While JBoss will not receive any direct revenue from the deal, HP has purchased training and support materials from JBoss for its own services unit.
Fleury said HP Services will install JBoss as part of customer solutions and will act as the single customer support contact. Meanwhile JBoss will provide additional support through HP.
Find out about JBoss recent middleware in JBoss Unveils Workflow Management System.
Analysts said the deal will improve JBoss reach, potentially adding to its direct customer base.
"This is a big deal for JBoss," said Richard Monson-Haefel, a senior analyst with The Burton Group, of Midvale, Utah. "HP is definitely a top player in the server market, and this gives JBoss a lot of credibility as a product."
That credibility is further enhanced, Monson-Haefel said, by HPs announcement last week that it would extend its OpenView management tool to monitor JBoss application servers. "That puts [JBoss] closer to offerings from IBM and Oracle [Corp.] in terms of manageability features," he said.
Read an eWEEK Labs review of the JBoss app server: JBoss 4.0 Shows Raft of Improvements.
Monson-Haefel added that the benefits for HP are clear as well. "It doesnt make sense for vendors to invest in building software, but it does make sense for then to invest in support."
HP announced in June that it would certify open-source software from both JBoss and MySQL ABs MySQL database as part of its RLA (Reference Linux Architecture) for Linux servers. RLA, initially launched by HP at LinuxWorld in January, originally comprised only commercial applications, software from BEA Systems Inc. and Oracle.
Following the announcement, "Customers were banging on HPs doors saying Thats great—where do we sign up?" Fleury said. "Customers in Asia and Japan started contacting HP, saying, JBoss doesnt have a presence here, so where do we sign up for support? Now HPs customers have 24-7 support and indemnification."
Customers will find, Fleury said, that the open-source stack offered by HP is now "no different than what traditional software vendors offer for their products," in terms of support.
Jeffery Wade, marketing manager for HPs Linux group, said that HP hadnt yet reached the same kind of agreement with MySQL AB, "but were working on that."
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