By now you’ve read the press release, and you know that Sun and Intel are joining forces to drive Solaris, the NetBeans development environment, Java, and the Intel Xeon platform. You’ll see ads that look like this in a few days:
The short form of the relationship is this – Intel has agreed to endorse and OEM from Sun the open source Solaris OS. Just stop there for a second. If you’re an industry watcher, that’s a pretty big change for the both of us. Intel has annointed Solaris as The Mission Critical Unix for Intel/Xeon. They’re also endorsing, and we’ll jointly be optimizing, the NetBeans and Java platforms, and working with us to fuel the communities from which they spawn. Again, if you’re an insider, that’s a big shift in the market – welcome to the community, Intel!
On the Sun side, we’re agreeing to pair up our respective systems engineering teams to build a line of Xeon based systems – servers and workstations. These will augment our SPARC and AMD platforms, both of which have been growing double digits over the past year. We’re broadening our offerings with Intel’s Xeon, and certainly hoping to accelerate our overall growth – into our customers, and into Intel’s. And not just in OS’s or computers (don’t forget, our view is that storage is coming our way, too).
Jointly, we’ll build the market, work with ISV’s and partners, and help support key customers – and invest our considerable resources to ensure mutual success. To be clear, this isn’t about displacing one another’s competitors, it’s about getting as big a piece of the future as possible. The market’s not shrinking, after all.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the relationship (at least for enterprises) is this: we’re pairing up to do some collaborative engineering around larger systems (where larger implies greater than 4 socket – and no, I’m not talking about 5 socket). Optimized for Solaris and Java, of course, and leveraging one another’s virtualization and performance technologies. Just to keep things interesting. Stay tuned on that front.
Which is all to say, just when you thought you’d had the industry all figured out, good things happen – and although the coverage in the mainstream media seems focused on our adding Intel chips to our product line, I’d like to believe the real news is that Intel has agreed to add the Solaris operating system to theirs.
But that’s just me.
And to our new friends at Intel: congratulations! We’re looking forward to working together! It’s great to finally be on the same side of the market.