The two IT giants announced the ProLiant partnership Feb. 25. The agreement allows Sun's Solaris 10 operating system to run on HP's x86-based ProLiant servers. The move by Sun and HP comes at a time when server sales have slowed and both companies are looking for ways to attract customers to some of their more significant offerings.
For Sun, the announcement of a new Solaris partner reflects the company's efforts to push its way into the volume x86 server market while still offering systems for customers that need systems based on UltraSPARC and SPARC chips. In addition to HP, Sun has cut deals with Dell and other rival server vendors to pave the way for greater Solaris adoption in the enterprise.
The OEM and support agreement positions Sun as a strategic HP ProLiant OS distribution partner, in addition to elevating Solaris to the lineup of operating environments for the HP ProLiant platform. Other operating environments in the lineup include Microsoft Windows and Red Hat Linux.
The deal will create "a single point of purchase, contact and accountability for Solaris on HP ProLiant," the companies said in a news release. In addition, Sun and HP plan on a collaboration to integrate Solaris 10 and HP Insight software on HP ProLiant servers.
"The endorsement of Solaris on HP ProLiant dramatically expands the available market for Solaris on x86 servers, building on the largest installed-base of any commercial Unix and Linux distribution," John Fowler, executive vice president of systems for Sun Microsystems, said in the release.