In 1809, a hero in America’s Revolutionary War, General John Stark, was forced to decline an invitation to a military reunion due to ill health. He sent a toast to be read in his absence that began, “Live Free or Die.” That phrase is now the official motto of the American state of New Hampshire (where Stark lived), known for a fierce sense of independence (and no income taxes).
Hold that thought for a moment.
Today, we’re announcing the single biggest and most important OEM/distribution agreement Sun’s ever signed for the open source Solaris operating system – through which we’ll be joining forces with the world’s largest supplier of high volume servers, Hewlett Packard. As a result of the deal, Solaris gains tier 1 status, becoming a peer to Microsoft’s Windows among HP’s channels and partners. Commercial licenses and support services will be made available across the full breadth of x86 systems HP ships under the Proliant banner. More importantly, we’ll both be investing in the innovation, community and marketplace surrounding our jointly delivered platforms – it’s all about growing the Solaris market.
This relationship brings every major server vendor to the Solaris OEM marketplace, with HP capping a great list of Solaris endorsers that includes Intel, AMD, IBM, Dell and many others.
At this stage, we count more than a 1,000 x86 systems supported by Solaris and OpenSolaris, and nearly 8,000 ISV applications. With Intel’s Nehalem systems just around the corner, this ensures customers and ISV’s looking for a robust, scalable open source cloud operating system, one that leverage every ounce of x86 performance, will see Solaris – alongside ZFS, DTrace,
MySQL, Java and a whole array of embedded XVM virtualization support – from every x86 OEM on earth. Congratulations, HP, it’s great to have you on the team!
Now, returning to the thought above, more than a century after General Stark’s toast, New Hampshire found itself home to one of the earliest, and most effective software teams ever built, the Unix Group at Digital Equipment Corporation. In the 1980’s, they adopted the same motto for their beloved Unix operating system, “Live Free or Die.” That phrase has since become synonymous with software independence, innovation and intellectual property freedom – it’s a way of life for an enormous portion of the free software company.
And it was with that exact spirit that Sun broke from the traditional Unix vendors in the late 1990’s, freeing the Solaris operating system from ties to the underlying hardware on which it ran – and from traditional notions of proprietary software development. We made the source code available under a free software license, we invested heavily in communities outside of Sun (both Intel and AMD have been fabulous technical partners), and we drew customers and partners into the mix. Today, I am officially calling that transition complete, as we announce the most significant Solaris OEM agreement we’ve ever signed. Under the terms of the agreement, HP is joining the OpenSolaris community, optimizing its performance for HP servers and storage, while simultaneously investing to expand our penetration across a variety of new markets, from health care and manufacturing, to small and medium businesses.
From our vantage point, the spirit of “Live free or die” defines the future for all software, not just operating systems. Traditional proprietary software models, like traditional newspaper businesses, will slow as customers move to the cloud. Governments across the world, spurring economic activity with stimulus programs are already mandating or promoting open source software as a means of driving progress. Live free or die is a spirit spreading choice, technical independence and innovation – the revolution is well underway.
Numerous customers who share this philosophy helped bring the HP/Solaris agreement to fruition. Mark Hurd and I heard (and read) your encouragement directly, and both teams have worked tirelessly for months to craft a comprehensive, robust and effective engagement. On behalf of Sun, to our colleagues at HP, we’re looking forward to working together.
If you’d like a Solaris CD, just click the image. Live free, indeed.