Feeds

Sun deals Xeon server line to Intel for Solaris ad

The chip deal that isn't

The essential guide to IT transformation

Server buffs have spent years wondering when Sun and Intel would finally bury their hatchets in each other's back and form a partnership. Now the deal is done, but it wants for excitement, controversy . . . anything.

The Sun/Intel question was interesting back when Sun dominated the server game on a SPARC-only stance. It waffled a bit toward Intel after the $2bn Cobalt purchase, but no one paid much mind. Then came Sun's firm Opteron squeeze, effectively quashing what used to be of curiosity on the x86 front.

Today, we find Sun simply adding another chip supplier. It will ship one-, two- and four-socket Xeon-based servers by midyear along with a line of workstations. Sun also intends to craft an eight-socket Xeon box one day. Sun's CEO Jonathan Schwartz announced all this during a press conference in San Francisco on a shared stage with Intel CEO Paul Otellini.

Otellini appreciated Sun's end to the Opteron-only stance so much that he mentioned the Solaris operating system again and again.

"At the highest level this is about Intel endorsing and embracing Solaris, and Sun endorsing and embracing Xeon," Otellini said.

What the heck could Intel's endorsement of Solaris possibly mean?

Apparently, Intel's engineers will team with Sun's engineers to make sure Solaris x86 runs well on Xeon-based systems. In addition, "Intel has signed a Solaris OEM agreement enabling Intel to distribute and support the Solaris OS to its customers as market opportunities may arise and consistent with Intel's product strategies."

Sure, Intel moves a few white boxes here and there, but this isn't the OEM agreement dreams are made of. Maybe Otellini can get on the horn with his pal Michael Dell and explain why Solaris is so cool.

"This is not just a chip deal," Otellini reminded the crowd.

Gotcha.

The older readers out there will remember the days when Sun fought the likes of Microsoft and Intel with vigor - sometimes for no other reason than to be different. Now Solaris stands as Sun's only means of going against the crowd, and it wants the crowd to love Solaris. My how un-fun $2bn anti-trust settlements and multiple processor suppliers have become.

According to the two executives, it only took one bottle of nice wine for them to feel the love. A lovely dinner sealed the deal.

Now all the Xeon can't scale rhetoric has been replaced with "We're driving Xeon to eight-socket country." And Wintel has gone Soltel or Sintel Inside, if you're an adolescent.

With Sun now shipping Intel boxes and Dell moving AMD gear, order has been restored in the server universe. Customers have never had it so good.

It may just be that customer win that does in fact make this more than just a chip deal. But, really, we're still kind of bored. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.