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