Sun Microsystems and Microsoft have significantly expanded their existing relationship in an agreement that makes Sun a Windows Server 2003 OEM that will sell, pre-install and support that server software across its entire server hardware line.
Windows Server 2003 will be available on Sun x64 systems within 90 days, and Sun will also provide other utilities and value-added software offerings to server systems carrying Windows Server, John Fowler, the executive vice president of Suns Systems Group, said at a media briefing on Sept. 12.
"Our entire server line will be available to come with Windows Server 2003 preloaded, and we are already open for early orders. Many of our customers want to use Suns platforms together with Microsoft Windows to solve their most difficult business computing problems," he said.
Sun has become a single source for Solaris and Windows on the its x64 systems and storage products, and customers can now take advantage of the virtualization benefits of Windows and Solaris on Suns energy-efficient x64 systems, he said.
Read more here about the release of Windows Server 2003 SP2.
This agreement is also specific to Windows Server 2003 and does not include the upcoming Windows Server 2008 release, which is due in the first quarter of next year, Fowler said, adding that the big change for its customers under this new agreement was that Sun could now preinstall Windows Server 2003 and would sell joint solutions with Microsoft.
For his part, Andy Lees, the corporate vice president for Microsofts Server & Tools Marketing and Solutions Group, said having Sun as a Windows Server 2003 OEM would offer great value to their shared customers, who would now have an additional choice of Windows Server OEM partners with Sun.
The deal was also another example of Microsofts commitment to 64-bit computing, and Suns hardware platform was an excellent foundation for Windows-based enterprise solutions, including those built on SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Virtual Server, and Microsoft IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) Edition, he said.
The two companies will also continue to work together to test and validate the Windows platform on Suns x64 server and storage products for scale-up enterprise computing.
They will also collaborate on the virtualization front so as to ensure that Solaris runs well as a guest on Microsoft virtualization technologies and that Windows Server runs well as a guest in Suns virtualization technologies.
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"With Solaris we have an operating system that already has built in virtualization, which is available at no cost, so we can do application and operating system virtualization. But Solaris doesnt necessarily solve all customer problems and, with Microsoft working on its new Viridian offering, we are very excited to connect our engineering leadership with Microsofts to see how we can make these environments work better together," Fowler said.