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EBS outpaces Sun with Solaris x86 kit

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Sun Microsystems garners a lot of press for its Solaris x86 push, but a small company based in Massachusetts is arguably doing more to sell actual product running the operating system.

Electronic Business Solutions (EBS) has just rolled out a new dual processor Opteron-based workstation, which is certified to run both Solaris x86 and Sun's Java Desktop System (JDS) Linux operating system. The new box joins a ruggedized laptop and two-processor Opteron server already certified to run Solaris x86 in EBS's hardware lineup. EBS plans to roll out a four-way Opteron box next month as well.

The EBS lineup is nothing short of stellar, if you are a Solaris x86 fan. At present, Sun only has the operating system available on its two processor Xeon and Opteron servers. And, as we recently discovered, Sun does not always make it easy to buy Solaris x86 on these few systems it does have. Sometime this year, Sun is expected to roll out a four-way Opteron box and a workstation of its own.

In the meantime, Solaris x86 users can turn to EBS and do so with Sun's blessing.

"Together, Sun and EBS are providing a range of Solaris x86-based solutions, that deliver great performance and functionality at prices that won’t break the bank,” said Jack O’Brien, a group marketing manager at Sun.

Lucky for Sun, the company really doesn't have to do much of anything to have EBS on board. Fran Oh, the CEO of EBS, has long been a Solaris x86 fan, working with both Sun and HP to certify the OS for x86-based gear.

EBS's new HLS Series workstation backs up this Solaris x86 enthusiasm with smart product. The box packs two Opteron chips from AMD, 2Gbytes of memory, a 120Gbyte hard drive and a Nvidia Quadro FX 500 graphics card. The system starts under $3,000.

"We are trying to bring the Solaris world and the Opteron world together with a real high-end graphics workstation," Richard Anderson, CTO at EBS, told El Reg.

Not surprisingly, Sun has been demonstrating the EBS gear at various customer and user conferences. Both companies are trying to revive Solaris x86 and push it from a hobbyist OS status to being the Unix of choice among Opteron users. Government and university customers have shown the most interest for Solaris x86 in recent months, Oh said.

EBS backed up our perception that Solaris x86 has garnered heightened importance within Sun. It seems Sun is putting far more than just marketing muscle behind the OS. ®

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