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Sun and Microsoft confirm data center lovechild

Mankind now writing emails to Redmond

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Er, will someone please get Scott McNealy on the horn? This Sun Microsystems and Microsoft love-in is getting ridiculous.

Sun Chairman McNealy used to hit us with the "It's Mankind versus Microsoft" shots as the two companies squabbled over anti-trust issues, run-times and, well, the nature of innovation. These barbs against Microsoft went so far as to include McNealy saying, "I can't leave my kids to Microsoft."

Microsoft has been less offensive to McNealy and Sun ever since it forked over about $2bn to settle disputes, agreed to an interoperability pact and helped chuck Windows on Sun servers. Now the companies plan to expand their mutual admiration society via an Interoperability Center.

Sun will send a bunch of servers and storage boxes up to the Redmond-based center. Engineers from both companies will work on testing Microsoft's server software with the gear. We're told that such work could lead to breakthroughs in 64-bit database technology and amazing e-mail servers.

"One of the first results of the recently increased collaboration is the availability of the Sun Infrastructure Solution for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007," the companies said. "This solution will help enable enterprise customers to better manage e-mail growth and realize the benefits of Exchange Server 2007. Pre-tested end-to-date system and storage configurations allow customers to easily migrate to Exchange Server 2007 - achieving up to 85 percent savings in rack space, power and cooling, and reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) for e-mail by up to 70 percent over three years."

There will be virtualization, Java and thin client work taking place as well.

Of course, we spotted Sun servers sitting in Microsoft data centers way back in 2005 - a love that barely dared speak its name. Apparently the Microsoft Enterprise Engineering Center wasn't a good enough home for Sun's hardware, prompting the creation of a super special lab.

Perhaps we'll one day see a member of the McNealy clan working in the center. ®

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