HP Joins Solaris Community (Live Free or Die)

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.


Filed under General

21 responses to “HP Joins Solaris Community (Live Free or Die)

  1. Win-Win! ๐Ÿ™‚ Welcome aboard, HP!

  2. Geek

    The world upside down? I had thought that Microsofty had consolidated its rule on the X86/X64 world! I was wrong and damn wrong! This is a tectonic shift on the X86/X64 platform. It may not sound that big but if you realize that the OS is free and that a new financial system is in the works due to the downturn, you’ll understand that this can break a kingdom, the MS kingdom!
    Sounds like SUN has been doing something right for the last 10 years since you have not been running your business only on a quarterly basis.

  3. [Trackback] Jonathan Schwartz si gongola di questo nel suo ultimo post e in effetti ne ha tutte le ragioni: con questo annuncio Sun può dirsi soddisfatta di poter vedere Solaris riconosciuto da tutti gli hardware vendor come piattaforma credibile e di primo live…

  4. Great news!
    Does that mean that other Sun products such as Sun Cluster for x86_64 line will be offered through HP as a bundle?

  5. Definitively, a giant step forward for Sun, HP and especially for the consumers.

  6. ML Starkey

    Interesting background on the DEC/"Live free or die". I swear I’ve seen a "UNIX" vanity plate on my commute b/t the NH border and Burlington MA recently.
    Will this mean that HP will now qualify their most excellent and widely used "JetDirect printer config software" for Solaris 10?

  7. When I worked for DEC, that was Armando Stettner’s license plate.

  8. Anonymous

    Although it is good to hear that my favourite OS is being spread, I’m wondering now if I should get my next x86 server from Sun or from HP.
    Sun is very weak in low-end products. No good workstations for engineers, for example. No laptop products either.
    Hope HP can provide such missing Solaris solutions.

  9. HP Observer In NH

    Interesting that you refer to the DEC Unix group in New Hampshire on this occasion, given that in the past year HP has mostly dismantled what little remained of it and closed the facility where they used to work.

  10. NathanEvans

    Sun, IBM, and now HP offering Solaris.
    That puts MS in trouble on the server doesn’t it.
    I am beyond pleased about this, I always said if you three got together it would be the end of MS on the server. Its finally happening, thank god, and it’s about time.
    Currently Solaris Nevada b108 runs on my lenovo t500 out of the box.
    Switched all my servers at home to Solaris 10.
    Also I am recommending Solaris and Java to my friends, and collegues.
    Keep up the good work and thanks for making me "Not wrong" about Solaris.

  11. [Trackback] See:
    Tweek N Storage 2-27-09
    Taylor’s Take on Delicious
    The Storage Buzz:
    In: “The Current Environment” | 5 Minutes Ago: “These Economic Times” | Out: “The Recession”
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  12. [Trackback]Sun just inked a deal with HP’s ProLiant server business. Now you can get Solaris on HP, IBM, and Dell servers. Good for Sun’s Solaris business (and a testament to Solaris’ strength as an OS). Good for customers. Good for HP because they can now access customers that won’t move off of Solaris. But I suspect difficult for Sun’s server business – if you want Solaris, but are happy with your HP hardware, no need to change. On the other hand, if you are not happy with your HP hardware and like Solaris, you may look at Sun’s now.

  13. Geek

    The UK government backs Open Source at work and at home!!!.
    I hope your guys in UK are pushing hard.

  14. Vasileios anagnostopoulos

    SUN eases the steps of human-kind. Again.

  15. Solaris User (and damn proud of it!)

    If HP and Sun start a project together over a new SPARC CPU (i.e. Itanium with HP and Intel) then Hell will freeze over.
    Wait a minute.. I think Hell DID freeze over. HP joining the Solaris community. Remarkable.
    Thank you, HP, for recognizing Sun’s valuable OS assets. As it was pointed out, this does give HP a chance to pursue die-hards who aren’t migrating off of Solaris OS anytime soon, if ever.
    Sun makes superior products, imho. I keep wondering if this is HP’s way of getting closer to the Solaris marketplace, to see if it’s worth acquiring Sun.

  16. This is awesome news.
    Congratulations… ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. This is in response to Dimitar above:
    While I can’t say whether or not HP will "bundle" Sun software including Sun Cluster, a broad range of HP Proliant servers are already supported by Sun Cluster under the Open Hardware Program (OHP). Please have a look at the following URL:

  18. Yes.. Good for customers

  19. Robert Lunnon

    Things have come a long way since the revolution back in 2002 when "The customers went nuts". Your words, not mine. See, the customers are always right…

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