FUD flies between HP and Sun on Solaris support

FUD flies between HP and Sun on Solaris support

Summary: Now that word is circulating that HP is in some way shape or form supporting Solaris on its systems, the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) has hit the proverbial fan between HP and Sun.  Last Friday, I received an unsolicited statement from Sun regarding HP's supposed support of Solaris via e-mail.

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TOPICS: Hewlett-Packard
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Now that word is circulating that HP is in some way shape or form supporting Solaris on its systems, the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) has hit the proverbial fan between HP and Sun.  Last Friday, I received an unsolicited statement from Sun regarding HP's supposed support of Solaris via e-mail.  According to the statement, Sun's senior vice president and strategic insight officer (is there a Chief Insight Officer?)  Larry Singer had the following to say:

The previous regime at HP argued that HP-UX had a rosy future, despite evidence to the contrary. Clearly the new regime has a more realistic view. This is only the beginning of the work we are doing together to provide HP customers with a host of options to meet their enterprise computing needs. It comes as no surprise that HP would turn to the Solaris 10 OS on x64 in order to migrate customers off other legacy UNIX platforms. For Sun, this is all part of a longer-term strategy to drive our volume business. If we can compete with HP on who has the best Solaris deployment--that only stands to benefit customers.

Knowing that it wouldn't be fair to post Sun's point of view without hearing from HP first, I pinged the server people at HP.  Not suprisingly, HP has a slightly (and I'm using that term very loosely) different point of view.  Here's what HP had to say (attributed to no particular executive):

Enabling 64-bit Solaris 10 on Opteron-based ProLiant servers is an extension of HP’s Sun Attack program – a way to provide a solution for customers who are interested in moving from Sun/Solaris to an industry standard HP solution. These customers are not yet ready to move their entire Solaris environment to Linux. Enabling 64-bit Solaris 10 for these customers is offered in response to specific customer requests and is used as a Sun competitive attack approach to migrate customers from Sun/Solaris to HP...This is really about attacking Sun’s Solaris strategy by helping customers move off of Sun solutions and onto the #1 Industry Standard server in the market. Offering Solaris enablement breaks down one of Sun’s best defenses against Linux- the proprietary platform and the proprietary OS. Now customers can make their move to Linux where it makes sense for them, expand their use of Linux over time – and still have their legacy Solaris environments available to them – all on the #1 industry standard server platform in the industry. For these customers HP considers this a step in their transition to Linux, and this enablement allows HP to move potential hardware purchases of Sun server to HP ProLiant servers...Will HP sell and support Solaris? No. HP will NOT resell Solaris or offer OS support for Solaris. Customers must work with SUN for Solaris OS-level support.

While Sun's statement uses the word "together," I don't see anything in either of these statements that gives me any sense of togetherness between the two companies. 

Related: Podcast interview: Solaris One Year Anniversary status report with Sun's director of Solaris Marketing Chris Ratcliffe

Topic: Hewlett-Packard

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6 comments
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  • Giving away IP

    I think the truth is somewhere in the middle...

    I don't think HP supporting Solaris is a direct attack against Sun, I think it's attempt use Sun's intellectual property for free so they can spend less money on their own.

    So I think Sun's right that HP would like to replace something they pay to maintain, HP-UX, with something they don't pay to maintain, Solaris.

    Well, Sun didn't really put it that way, but that's what it is.

    On one hand, I think Sun did a great service to the open source community by releasing Solaris under the CDDL.

    On the other hand, I think open sourcing Solaris in order to defeat Linux and other Unices was kind of like being a suicide bomber.

    I don't think Sun can trounce HP in the x86 server market. Compete, yes, trounce, no. Of course, now Sun is subsidizing HP's server business, so beating them will be that much harder.

    Besides - why would you ferociously compete for a low-margin market?
    Erik1234
    • Did we read the same article?

      [i]I don't think HP supporting Solaris ...[/i]

      Did we read the same article? I read [b][i]HP will NOT resell Solaris or offer OS support for Solaris.[/i][/b] Of course, it was towards the bottom of the article so it was easy to miss.
      __howard__
      • Make no sense

        [HP will NOT resell Solaris or offer OS support for Solaris.]

        Well, since Solaris is FREE - the "resell" argument is mute. But if they won't support the OS - then just WHAT are they GOING to do? They will load your box up with Solaris and then wave bye-bye?
        Roger Ramjet
        • Actually, it does

          [i]But if they won't support the OS - then just WHAT are they GOING to do?[/i]

          Most white box sellers don't support the Windows OS ... why would HP have to support Solaris in order to sell boxes that can run Solaris?
          __howard__
    • HP and Sun going head to head

      on support is a no-brainer. Just try them both and see which one is better. From my (extensive) past experience, Sun walks the walk and HP talks the talk.
      Roger Ramjet
      • Opposite experience here

        I've had the opposite experience (go figure). Sun sold us something with a hardware/software conflict. To make it up they gave us "a really good deal" on replacement hardware -- which had the same problem.
        __howard__