Feeds

Sun makes servers Windows-ready

Seriously. It's true.

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

As promised, Sun Microsystems has certified its Xeon- and Opteron-based servers to work with Microsoft's server operating systems, cementing another change in the two companies' always exciting relationship.

As far back as February, Sun executives confirmed that they would look into putting x86 gear though the Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) compatibility tests. This doesn't mean Sun will start shipping Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 any time soon, but the certification does give customers the option of running Windows and receiving support from Microsoft. Sun earlier this month reiterated its plans to make peace with Windows when announcing its $2bn settlement with Microsoft.

El Reg noticed that Sun's web site clearly shows the V20z two-processor Opteron box is indeed Windows-ready. Sun isn't as clear about the WHQL certification for its V60x or V65x Xeon servers. We did, however, check with Sun's new low-end server chief John Fowler, and he confirmed that all of the x86 boxes are good to go even if the web site hides the information.

"All of the x86 rack mount servers are already WHQL certified," Fowler said. "We intend to continue to do this for future products where it makes sense."

Sun now offers a broad set of operating systems for its x86 gear. Along with Windows (2000/Server 2003), customers can run a 32-bit version of Solaris x86 (64-bit is coming); Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (32-bit/64-bit); SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 (64-bit) and SuSE Linux 9 Professional (64-bit).

Sun's WHQL certification is a fairly weak concession. The move, however, does provide some hope that Sun can dabble with reality from time to time.

Customers obviously run a mix of operating systems in their data centers. Now, if a customer needs to set up a few Windows boxes next to Solaris/Linux systems, they can do so in relative safety.

Back when Sun was storming though data centers with Solaris/Sparc boxes it was much easier for it to take a high and mighty position ignoring Microsoft. But with sales tougher to come by these days, Sun has more of "we'll do whatever it takes within reason" attitude.

An argument could be made that Sun needs to go ahead and sell Windows, if it wants to compete with IBM, HP and Dell in the x86 realm. Such a move, as they say, is not freakin' likely.

The bulk of Sun's low-end system strategy still centers around displacing Windows servers where possible. Sun, for example, isn't selling desktop Linux boxes to become a major PC player, but instead to clear the way for Sun server sales in the back-end. Every Windows PC gone equals a business opportunity for Sun.

All that said, Sun's flaccid embrace of Windows is ultimately one of the larger crow consumptions you're going to see in the server industry. Sun has certified the less than secure, unscalable, evil hairball and served it on a plate to customers.

Eat up.®

Related stories

Will Opteron's first birthday be its most memorable?
Sun's Java Desktop gets tooled up
HP takes Opteron to the next level
Oracle, HP, Intel and Sun start YAGCSB*
Sun slashes Solaris x86 price for big buyers
Sun tops off poor Q3 by axing execs
For Sun chip chief, an empty roadmap is a clean roadmap

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer
Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.