Eye on Oracle

Jun 22 2010   1:58PM GMT

Oracle doesn’t play nice with HP

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

The era of running Solaris on alternative x86 platforms looks like it’s slowly coming to an end.

HP recently sent a letter to customers saying that Oracle was yanking HP’s Solaris support agreement. In addition, HP announced that it would not certify or support Solaris on its newest x86 ProLiant servers, the G7 line. Both bits of news indicate that the days of running Solaris on x86 gear that isn’t Oracle/Sun will become more rare as the years go by.

Back when Sun Microsystems was its own company, it made a serious push to run Solaris and OpenSolaris on as many platforms as possible – other x86 server hardware, for instance, and even on the mainframe. But now that Oracle has control of Sun, it seems as if Oracle wants Solaris to run on its own hardware, or not at all. At the very least, Oracle doesn’t want HP gaining profits by providing technical support for Solaris.

According to the letter HP sent to customers and which The Register got a copy of from a reader, HP support renewals for Solaris on ProLiant hardware will be allowed until July 1.

“As you may have heard, Oracle has exercised its right to terminate HP’s Solaris technical support agreement,” the letter reads. “If you have purchased Solaris 10 Subscriptions and Software Technical Support for HP ProLiant servers from HP, then you will continue to receive subscription support from Oracle and technical support from HP for the period of your contract. You will be able to purchase 1 and 3 year Solaris 10 Subscriptions and Support from HP until July1, 2010. No renewals will be accepted after this date. HP will deliver technical support through June 30, 2013. After that date, HP will no longer be in a position to provide Solaris technical support.”

A few years ago when Sun announced an agreement with IBM to run and support Solaris on x86 and the mainframe, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz did say their relationship with HP was at “arm’s length.” So perhaps support for Solaris will only die a quick death on HP x86 gear. The Register story did discover that Dell’s OEM support agreement remains intact, but there is no word on the situation with IBM and Fujitsu.

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