Sun and SuSE tie-up for Linux

By : |August 2, 2003 0

SAN FRANCISCO: Sun Microsystems Inc. has agreed to resell and support closely held German software firm SuSE’s version of the Linux operating system, the companies said on Friday.

The agreement, which follows a similar one in May between Sun, the maker of network computers, and Red Hat Inc., a Linux vendor in the United States, shores up Sun’s Linux strategy, said analysts. They also said that Sun has been inconsistent in its approach to Linux, which they say could threaten Sun’s own proprietary version of Unix called Solaris.

Sun recently decided to stop selling its own version of Linux and adopted the model of distributing Red Hat and now SuSE, in large part due to pressure from customers, said Stacey Quandt, an analyst at Giga Information Group, a unit of Forrester Research.

Linux is gaining acceptance among corporations because it is cheaper in many cases than servers using Microsoft Corp.’s operating system and proprietary versions of Unix used by Sun and others.
Santa Clara, California-based Sun said it had agreed to sell and provide customer support for SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 on Sun’s x86 or Intel compatible servers.

In May, Sun announced its V60x and V65x servers, which cost $2,450 and $2,650, respectively, and use Intel Corp.’s, microprocessors. Sun offers them with its Solaris operating system, or Red Hat’s or now, SuSE’s Linux operating system software.
Those servers are the successor to Sun’s poorly received LX 50 server, its first to use Intel chips and Linux.

SuSE, under the agreement, will also be a source licensee of Sun’s Java 2 Standard Edition, and will distribute Sun’s Java Virtual Machine software engine.
Java is a programming language that Sun invented in 1995 that lets software developers write programs that can run on a wide variety of computers and devices, regardless of its operating system. The Java Virtual Machine (JVM), interprets the Java code for a device’s processor so that it can run the Java program.

For SuSE, the agreement with Sun helps the company to close the gap between those who write software and those who decide what software to buy and how to use it.
“SuSE has always appealed to a lot of developers, but the challenge was bridging the gap between developers concerned with technical issues and the CEO who is focused on addressing the strategic components of IT,” said Quandt.

SuSE already has distribution agreements with computer systems companies Hewlett-Packard Co., International Business Machines Corp., and software makers Oracle Corp. and SAP AG.

© Reuters

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