HP to Support JBoss Enterprise Middleware Worldwide

The deal allows Hewlett-Packard to offer its clients middleware as well as hardware and operating systems, and should help drive large-scale adoption of open-source technology.

Hewlett-Packard Co. announced Tuesday that it will offer worldwide support for the entire JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite of products, and certify and integrate the JBoss Application Server for HP-UX 11i, Red Hat Inc.s Linux and Novell Inc.s SUSE Linux.

The move takes the existing agreement between HP and JBoss Inc. to the next level. For HP, the deal allows it to continue driving large-scale adoption of open-source technology through the HP LRA (Linux Reference Architecture) program.

This latest agreement also includes consulting, integration services and subscription sales from HP for all JEMS (JBoss Enterprise Middleware) products, including Hibernate, JBoss jBPM, JBoss Portal and JBoss Cache.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read about JBoss plan to make the JEMS the industrys interoperable, open-source SOA platform.

"The agreement builds on an existing technology services alignment between HP and JBoss, through which HP service professionals use their expertise on JEMS technologies as a critical component of HPs Open Source SOA [service-oriented architecture] infrastructure to enhance customers abilities to deploy open-source and Linux solutions quickly and effectively," Christine Martino, HPs recently appointed vice president of open source and Linux, told eWEEK.

JEMS is a leading open-source platform for SOA, with the JBoss application server an increasingly popular Web services hosting choice for enterprises, she said, adding that HP-UX 11i Open Source Reference Architectures for Web Services offers a choice of pre-configured, tested and documented open-source components that HP supports to facilitate secure solutions deployment on HP-UX 11i.

The components are also interoperable with the Linux Reference Architecture, which provides a choice of HP-supported integrated stacks of best-of-breed software and hardware components to facilitate the roll-out of production grade deployments on Linux, Martino said.

"With this agreement, we will now offer our global customer base a single point of contact for JEMS support, as well as a full range of innovative consulting services such as architecture and design, implementation and migration planning for the JEMS platform," she said.

HP will now be able to resell subscriptions to the full JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite, as well as support and services on it. Prior to this deal, HP was only supporting the JBoss Application Server, she said.

Bob Bickel, the vice president of strategy and corporate development at JBoss, said the deal opened a new chapter in the companys relationship with HP, which was built on the success that both companies had seen as more enterprises shifted from proprietary systems to an open, agile IT infrastructure.

"Between this expanded agreement and our recent acquisition of distributed transaction monitoring technology from HP and Arjuna [Technologies Ltd.], JBoss expects to see JEMS gaining even more ground in enterprises focused on leveraging SOA to transform their business," he said.

Some customers, like Ed Leonard, the chief technology officer at DreamWorks LLC, have welcomed the move. "DreamWorks has already reaped significant benefits from our deployment of HP open-source services and solutions with the JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite of products, which has enabled us to stay technologically competitive in creating award-winning movies," he said.

JBoss also made a deal last September with Microsoft Corp., in which the two companies agreed to broaden interoperability between the JEMS and Microsoft Windows Server. The two firms said they would focus on four key areas initially: Microsoft Active Directory, Web services, management and SQL Server.

/zimages/4/28571.gifRead more here about the interoperability agreement between JBoss and Microsoft.

Bill Hilf, the director of Platform Technology Strategy at Microsoft, recently told eWEEK that more than 50 percent of JBoss customers run JBoss Enterprise Middleware Systems on Windows Server. "For those customers, our relationship is a natural fit," he said.

JBoss also signed a deal to expand its relationship with Novell Inc. last year.

HP announced a similar deal in December with Symas Corp. around OpenLDAP, while it also has deals in place with Novells SUSE and Red Hat. "In the context of our Linux Reference Architecture, customers can come to us for the industry standard hardware, for a choice of operating systems and now for middleware," Martino said.

"We can deliver all of that, along with choice. Taking the LRA as the foundation, we can now offer customers a one-stop shop for a mixture of all of these, along with support and services," she said.

This agreement, along with the others HP already has with different vendors, and its LRA, allowed it to offer hard numbers for pricing and support for the JEM suite that its sales force could leverage to a broader customer group, including those that might not want an integration engagement but do want support.

Martino said there were more such deals to come. "I think youll see us build on this and youll hear about other announcements," she said.

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