Sun Extends Solaris x86

Sun on Thursday said it had added 100 new third-party systems and 100 new components to its Hardware Compatibility List for the Solaris x86 OS Platform Edition.

Sun Microsystems Inc. on Thursday said it had added 100 new third-party systems and 100 new components to its Hardware Compatibility List for the Solaris x86 operating system Platform Edition.

"Our goal is to ensure that the Solaris x86 OS is available on the widest range of x86 systems," said Ann Wettersten, a vice president in Suns software systems group.

Customers can access a detailed Solaris x86 hardware compatibility list at and take advantage of a full range of certified drivers and system configurations and a growing catalog of third-party and open-source applications, she said.

Sun partner Electronic Business Solutions (EBS) will now fully integrate, service and support the Solaris x86 platform on a variety of high-volume x86 systems. Fran Oh, the CEO of EBS, said the company has been authorized by HP to support Solaris x86 operating system migration on their Proliant servers.

Sun also chose Xoriant as its certification partner to help customers and OEMs certify their specific x86 systems with the Solaris x86 operating system.

"Our partnership with Sun further accelerates the Solaris x86 adoption rate by providing a turnkey approach for Sun partners and customers who want to outsource compatibility testing for their x86 products," said Girish Gaitonde, the CEO of Xoriant.

Sun on Thursday also introduced a hardware certification test suite (HCTS) and promotion program. The HCTS is available immediately and enables integrators, system vendors and independent hardware vendors (IHVs) to self-certify their x86 platforms.

"All Solaris 9 x86 OS users and vendors are invited to participate, test and list their products on the official Sun Solaris 9 x86 OS HCL site," Wettersten said.

Interest in the Solaris x86 operating system has grown significantly, she said, adding that in the past four months there have been more than 250,000 additional registered licenses of Solaris 9 x86 from such industries as finance, government, retail and telecom.

But the road to a Solaris 9 x86 operating system has been very rocky. Last October, after months of indecision, Sun finally said it would ship Solaris 9 x86, unbundled, supporting both the Sun hardware platform, for both current and future products, as well as the same list of all hardware supported for Solaris 8. Prices would start at $99 for a single CPU system.

That announcement brought to an end months of uncertainty about Suns intentions. In early January, the Santa Clara, Calif., company announced that it had decided to defer the productization of the Solaris 9 Intel version; a week later it announced plans to meet a group of customers and developers to try to work out a compromise; and in August it announced that it would only support Solaris 9 on Sun x86 hardware.