Richi Jennings

Windows server coming on Sun hardware (and he's not heavy)

September 13, 2007 6:40 AM EDT

It's thoroughly Thursday's IT Blogwatch: in which Sun fires up an agreement with Microsoft hoping to find the genuine advantage of Windows on its balance sheet. Not to mention how not to serve a ladder ...

Eric Lai sees it clearly:
The two longtime rivals also said they will cooperate on technical development of Microsoft's server operating system on Sun Fire hardware, as well as making Sun's Solaris Unix operating system fully manageable under Microsoft's recently introduced System Center Virtual Machine Manager software.
The moves could help Sun boost sales of its servers, which have been hurting ever since the bursting of the dot-com bubble saw the rise of cheap PC servers running either Linux or Windows. [read more]
Martin LaMonica expands:
The two companies also committed to expanding their technical collaboration--first announced in 2004 but one which had not lived up to the initial hoopla--into virtualization.
As part of the arrangement, the two companies will roughly double the size of an interoperability lab first set up in 2004 to take on the work on virtualization. Executives declined to number how many people will work there except to say that the lab houses both Sun and Microsoft employees. [read more]
Jeremy Reimer is stunned:
Sun has released a chart showing which hardware will be ready for the Windows operating system, and the company is expected to ship the first bundled systems within 90 days.

The move is a stunning departure for Sun, who in the past exclusively promoted its own Unix-based operating system, Solaris, and more recently Linux and Linux-derived products such as the Sun Java Desktop System (JDS). "Sun is now a single source for today's leading operating systems—Solaris and Windows—on the industry's most innovative x64 systems and storage products," said John Fowler, executive vice president at Sun. [read more]
Bryan Gardiner read the small print:
Additionally, the two companies will work together on Mediaroom, Microsoft's IPTV software platform. According to Sun, AT&T's U-verse digital TV service has selected the company for one of world's largest deployments of the Microsoft Mediaroom platform, which will include both server and client software. [read more]
Joe Wilcox is watching Microsoft:
Microsoft has long shown less hostility towards Unix vendors than those selling Linux. The company long ago accepted Unix as an inevitability among large enterprises; Sun and Microsoft have collaborated for more than three years on enterprise solutions.
Still, Sun's competitive position is perhaps more tenuous among Unix vendors, because of its support for Linux, OpenOffice and open-source Solaris. But Sun hardware, its presence among large enterprises and its reputation for delivering compute-intensive solutions are assets Microsoft needs.

Sun's channel, while much smaller than Microsoft's, is rigorously trained to deliver high-end solutions. Microsoft has much to gain from Sun as an OEM and its supporting channel. [read more]
Gavin Clarke registers the reality:
Despite this latest display of love, though, the deal does have its limitations. Contrary to the suggestion of some optimistic Microsoft PR, Sun will not be pre-installing Microsoft's middleware server products - such SQL Server and Exchange Server.

That'll be left to both companies' channel partners, according to Microsoft. In reality, that will likely mean Microsoft rather than Sun partners, who already boast the technology and business presence on SQL Server and Exchange.

Also notable: the deal does not stretch to Microsoft's planned Windows Server 2003 replacement - Windows Server 2008 - meaning Sun will be shipping an operating system that's several years old. [read more]
El Lobo drank the Kool Aid
Interesting that with all these deals everybody is (as always, duh) critisizing Microsoft for "Extending and Embracing", but almost anybody is failing to see that it is in reallity THE OTHER PARTS who are trying to get some oxygen by teaming with the big guy. It's a SYMBIOSIS, people when everybody involved gets something good for them. And in the end, the winners are we, the users, because if we left the ********funny ideologies********* aside, nothing wrong have come with peace and understanding. Ever. [read more]

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Previously in IT Blogwatch

And finally... ladder, ladder on the wall, who will be the first to fall ...

Computerworld's online projects editor, Joyce Carpenter, compiled IT Blogwatch today. Regular Blogwatcher Richi Jennings will return on September 21.