Sun Microystems and IBM have failed to reach a board agreement around shipping Solaris x86 on IBM's Xeon- and Opteron-based servers. So, a much smaller company has stepped in to help out customers.
Electronic Business Solutions (EBS) today announced that it has received the go ahead to outfit IBM's entire x86 server line with Solaris x86. The deal builds on a lightweight existing agreement between Sun and IBM that has Sun supporting Solaris x86 on IBM's blades. Long a champion of Solaris x86, EBS believes that a broad set of customers have finally warmed to the idea of running Sun's version of Unix on non-Sun boxes.
"A lot of people are listening," EBS CEO Fran Oh told us. "Customers who migrated from Solaris to Linux have often found themselves to be unhappy. They didn't have a choice before to correct the problem and now they do."
Sun once abandoned Solaris x86 much to the dismay of a core set of customers. It then changed course and started celebrating the OS with all its might, hoping to woo customers away from Linux and to expand the company's software presence on rival gear. Many, however, have remained skeptical about Sun's commitment to the Solaris x86 effort and this market perception has been tough for Sun to break.
Now, things are starting to change, according to Oh.
"It has been long enough that Sun has been sending out a consistent message."
IBM conducted some market research to see whether or not customers would bite on the Solaris x86 pitch. Data came back showing higher than expected interest, and IBM sees the Solaris x86 push as a way to get customers off Sun boxes.
“Clients are looking for the flexibility of choice, and EBS is able to offer options when it comes to the hardware platforms on which they run Solaris,” said Juhi Jotwani, director of IBM BladeCenter Solutions and Alliances. “With EBS, customers will be able to keep their current software while moving to a less expensive and more scalable hardware platform.”
Both EBS and Sun will support the System x/Solaris x86 boxes.
Historically, Compaq was actually the main provider of Solaris x86 on Intel-based servers. Oh hopes this deal will help woo HP back to the fold.
There's more about EBS' Solaris x86 support here.