HP Teams With BEA in Deal to Bundle WebLogic With HP-UX

Hewlett-Packard Co. is bundling BEA Systems Inc.'s WebLogic Application Server with each copy of the HP-UX operating system.

Hewlett-Packard Co. is bundling BEA Systems Inc.s WebLogic Application Server with each copy of the HP-UX operating system.

HP has begun shipping WebLogic Application Server 7.0 with HP-UX 11i and will ship WebLogic technology with HPs OVTA (OpenView Transaction Analyzer), the companies said.

The deal follows HPs plans to get out of the middleware business and appears to be a BEA strategy to target IBM, a key applications server rival.

However, HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., and IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., are working together to bundle IBMs WebSphere application server and DB2 database system with HP servers, according to sources close to the companies. The plan is to co-sell, market and develop joint applications, sources said.

One analyst viewed HPs moves as a way of increasing its Java 2 Enterprise Edition offerings by teaming with the top two Java application server vendors. However, its a delicate line to walk, said Ronald Schmelzer, an analyst with ZapThink LLC, of Cambridge, Mass.

"[HP] would then be looking to be sought as a pre-eminent vendor of server solutions," Schmelzer said. "Of course, the devil is in the details. If the HP-BEA alignment gets too tight, IBM will seek to work with another vendor, perhaps Dell [Computer Corp.]?"

The BEA pact confirms that HP is out of the application server market, a decision made when the company absorbed Compaq Computer Corp. earlier this year.

"For BEA, this is a great move since it gives them access to one of the largest installed server bases around: HP and Compaq servers," Schmelzer said.

Under the deal with BEA, of San Jose, Calif., HP will ship a six-month trial version of the BEA WebLogic Server 7.0 Advantage Edition with each HP-UX 11i system, the company said.

In addition, both companies will provide services and consulting support. And BEA officials said the company will support its application server on all HP-supported platforms, including HP-UX, NonStop Kernel, OpenVMS and Tru64, in addition to Microsoft Corp.s Windows 2000 and Linux.

And in a systems management initiative, HPs OVTA will support BEAs WebLogic Application Server. The companies said the HP OpenView Smart Plug-in for BEA WebLogic Application Server runs on WebLogic and monitors the application server environment for errors and provides diagnoses. The OVTA technology features transaction management technology jointly developed by HP and BEA, BEA officials said.