On the day that Sun Microsystems shareholders are voting on Oracle's proposed $7.4 billion acquisition, rival Hewlett-Packard is making a pitch to Sun customers.
HP on July 16 announced a new program of services, support plans and financial incentives designed to entice Sun customers to migrate to HP technology.
HP's Sun Complete Care program is aimed particularly at Sun Solaris customers. In their announcement, HP officials point to their company's support of Solaris on its ProLiant servers. The two companies signed a deal ealier this year enabling HP to sell ProLiant servers with Solaris and for HP to provide support. Sun signed similar deals with Dell and IBM. The program also enables customers to migrate their environments to Linux, Windows or HP-UX, the vendor's Unix variant that runs on its high-end Integrity systems.
HP officials said that more than 100 Sun customers already have migrated to HP server and storage platforms over the past six months.
Moving to HP can give Sun customers peace of mind, as well as better technology and investment protection, according to Paul Gottsegen, vice president of integrated marketing for HP's Enterprise Servers and Storage Group.
"As I meet with Sun customers and partners, they are adamant that they need a more stable technology provider with proven solutions, long-term road maps and a solid future," Gottsegen said in a statement.
Sun, which saw significant growth in the 1990s as the Internet came into play, saw its fortunes turn after the dot-com bust earlier this decade and has struggled to regain its financial footing since.
Sun shareholders meet later in the day July 16 to vote on whether to accept Oracle's $7.4 billion purchase of the company. Oracle officials expect to close the deal this summer.
The acquisition would give Oracle significant gains in such areas as software, and also would give the company Sun's Solaris OS. In addition, Oracle officials have said they intend to keep Sun's hardware business.
It also would make Oracle a larger player in the data center, where vendors such as HP and Cisco Systems are pushing forward with converged offerings that offer a combination of server, storage, networking and software management capabilities. Cisco in March introduced its UCS (Unified Computing System) all-in-one solution, and HP soon countered with its BladeSystem Matrix.
In its pitch to Sun customers, HP officials are playing up the support their systems have for Solaris. The Sun Complete Care program offers Sun customers free migration and TCO assessments, deferred payments of up to 90 days on HP leases, zero-percent financing until Oct. 31, and 15 percent trade-in credit or HP environmentally-friendly disposal of their older systems when replacing their Sun SPARC systems with HP's Integrity servers or ProLiant DL785 systems.
Integrity systems are powered by Intel's Itanium chips; the ProLiants run on Intel Xeon processors or Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron chips.
Sun customers also can realize a 50 to 85 percent discount on HP-UX 11i with a Solaris trade-in, and up to 30 percent off of training and support.
For more information on the HP program, Sun customers can go here.
HP also is offering what it is calling the Sun TCO Challenge, which officials said will let Sun customers know what they can save by migrating to HP. That challenge can be found here.