IBM Adopts Solaris! – BladeCenter Gets a Leg Up

You’ve probably seen, the Solaris team just cleared the 3,000,000 licenses downloaded milestone today! OUTSTANDING WORK, folks! (And you’re more than a year ahead of schedule.)

We continue to see more and more software providers and customers joining up – even governments are looking to the open source license and governance model we’re using as a great foundation for local industrial and economic development. (In fact, I was with officials from the government of Venezuela last week, and this was a hot topic of discussion – I was stunned to learn that despite being an OPEC nation, only 5% of Venezuela’s population has network access. You can count on free and open source software playing a prominent role in bringing the remainder on-line).

And if you ever wanted proof that volume drives value, I’m pleased to announce we’ve signed up our first tier 1 systems vendor as a Solaris supporter: it’s IBM, and their decision to provide comprehensive support for Solaris on Bladecenter definitely puts them ahead of the other blade vendors in offering a truly OS neutral product.

As a result of our agreement, IBM will be adding value to BladeCenter, optimizing Solaris for IBM hardware offerings, adding volume to the Solaris community, and proving that the best choice for customers is, in fact, real choice. It sends a clear message to IBM accounts that Solaris is now a top tier option for BladeCenter deployments.

This first step in extending the IBM/Sun relationship we announced back in July, now drives a very interesting value proposition for IBM against HP and Dell. Only Sun and IBM can say they support all the volume OS’s on industry standard hardware – Solaris, Windows and Red Hat Linux. But HP and Dell look to be limiting their market opportunities.

To that end, to my colleagues at Dell and HP: the invitation remains open: we’d love to partner around the fastest growing open source operating system the market’s ever seen. With customers demanding more choice, now’s exactly the *wrong* time to lean proprietary. How long are you willing to give IBM the advantage?

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